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New equipment to help improve MOH turnaround time for COVID-19 results

PS MOH Dr Atwinie receiving some of the new test equipment. PHOTO MOH

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has received a consignment of ten automated COVID-19 testing equipment on Friday which they say will help them cut down on the time they spend analyzing results and their final release.

Currently, people testing through the government labs have to wait for at least six hours to be able to access their results.

Dr Susan Nabadda, the Commissioner for Laboratory and Diagnostic Services told journalists attending the Lab day, an event organized by the ministry to interface with key medical laboratory stakeholders, that the new machines which are the first of the kind in the country will save them the manual processes they have been going through to extract specimen for testing.

The equipment which is a donation from a US Biotech company Liferiver will be deployed at Uganda Virus Research Institute, the National Public Health lab in Butabika and the mobile labs at the border points of Tororo and Adjumani. Here, she says, the turnaround time for results will be cut to 30 to 40  minutes.

However, while new and effective equipment is coming in for quick testing, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said they are considering completely phasing out mandatory testing at border points and coming up with new sustainable strategies for controlling transmission of diseases through the borders.

She said testing at the border points is very expensive and strains the human resource.

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