11 November 2016

Ethiopia: Nation Acquires First Bio-Safety Mobile Lab

As such equipment supports efforts of early controlling of disease outbreaks, the county needs to strengthen partnership to acquire more.

Ethiopia acquired the first of its kind level three mobile bio-safety laboratory to diagnose micro-organisms including viral hemorrhagic fevers and other emerging viruses.

The one million USD worth laboratory provides the country with critical resource needed to work with and respond to highly infectious disease causing micro-organisms.

The laboratory is the outcome of extraordinary technical and financial partnership between the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Ethiopia.

At an event organized at UNECA yesterday, Acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Country Representative Faustian Yao said that having this modern facility in an impetus to ongoing efforts of controlling highly communicable diseases in the context of a complex global health security arena.

"It is an effective and timely solution to Ethiopia's national capacity of detecting, containing and responding to communicable disease outbreaks."

He added that the mobile laboratory provides viable alternative in areas where such equipment is lacking particularly during emergencies.

Commending the initial investment on the mobile lab, Yao further said that there is a long way to go as Ethiopia, a vast and second populous country in Africa, needs a number of such equipment to ensure early detection of outbreaks to strengthen rapid response.

Representing Health Ministry, Ethiopian Public Health Institute Director General Dr. Ameha Kebede said: "In case of outbreaks like Ebola, Ethiopia has now the capacity to identify the disease causing micro-organisms, and launch a timely and evidence-based response."

He also underlined the need for agreement with the equipment producing factory both for annual regular maintenance and formal training of Institute professionals. "This calls for strengthening funding partnership."

The idea of acquiring this mobile lab came during the Ebola outbreak in Africa, it was learnt.

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