A mobile laboratory was handed over to the Ministry of Health of Uganda on Wednesday in Kampala, Uganda, as part of an ongoing European Union-funded Programme to support countries in the IGAD region to strengthen surveillance and the healthcare system.
The mobile laboratory will be stationed in the Central Health Laboratories at Butabika- Ministry of Health Headquarters.
The mobile lab, worth EUR 167,300 (approximately 700 million Uganda Shillings), will be used to collect specimens from suspected patients across the country and within the cross-border areas in case of an outbreak of an infectious disease and for sample transportation to the nearest lab for testing.
The mobile laboratory will help the medical workers to reach out to the patients from the cross-border areas, areas of emergency response, truck drivers in main truck stops and parking areas as well as people crossing the border in case of mass population movement or displacement.
The mobile lab was handed over to the Minister of State for Health (Primary Health Care), Margaret Muhanga Mugisa by the Deputy Ambassador of the European Union in Uganda, Ambassador Guilaume Chartrain and witnessed by IGAD officials represented by the Health Expert EU-IGAD Response Programme – Dr. Hamid Idrees on behalf of the Director IGAD Health and Social Development Division as well as representatives from the UN family and senior Ministry of Health officials.
Previously under the programme, an advanced and two standard ambulances; 803,230 PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), 25,056 COVID-19 test kits were delivered to the Ministry of Health Headquarters as well as two PCR labs donated to Arua and Moroto Regional Referral Hospitals to support surveillance and laboratory services in the Republic of Uganda. Also to note, Bibia Health Centre III in Amuru District was reconstructed to support the country in the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services. This was part of the IGAD programme’s effort to improve the health response and support cross-border communities and vulnerable populations especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Programme focuses on critical cross border areas in the region, refugee settlements and aims to enhance IGAD’s coordination capacity, increase access to health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, combat gender-based violence, improve community engagement, ensure borders are safe for trade and promote digital health solutions.
Funded by the European Union, the €60 million EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Project is managed by UNOPS PMU Djibouti and coordinated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), International Organization for Migration (IOM), TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with the aim to provide a comprensive and coordinated COVID-19 response and its social economic impact on cross border areas and refugees across the IGAD region namely; Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda as well as to strengthen the health care systems in these countries.