Dr. Richard Echodu, the Gulu University Laboratory Director told URN in an interview that the Laboratory is level two and that it shall be run by a total of 15 qualified staff who underwent COVID -19 testing training. He said three out of those staff hold PhD in Laboratory Technology.
Gulu University Laboratory has been accredited to test COVID -19
Last year, the University applied for accreditation to run COVID -19 testing at
the Laboratory, it was later accredited on January 25th, 2021 after scientific
validation by Dr Henry G Mwebase, the Director-General Health Services in the
Ministry of Health and Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, the Director Uganda Virus
Research Institute –UVRI. After accreditation, about 100 samples were tested
and results found to be accurate.
Dr Richard Echodu, the Gulu University Laboratory Director says that the Laboratory
is level two and that it shall be run by a total of 15 qualified staff who
underwent COVID -19 testing training. He said three out of those staff hold PhD
in Laboratory Technology.
According to Echodu, the Laboratory can run 1,000 test samples in 24 hours and
that access to the Laboratory shall be highly restricted to avoid students and
other University staff from getting exposed risks of getting infected.
The 4.5 million dollars’ Laboratory was constructed through
funding from the African Development Bank. It was commissioned in January 2020
by President Yoweri Museveni.
Dr Felix Kaducu, the University’s Dean of Faculty of Medicine
revealed that samples from health facilities and communities shall be tested
free of charge but for emergency testing and samples from corporate companies
shall be charged following advice from the Ministry of Health in a bid to
sustain the day to day running of the Laboratory.
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According to Kaducu, the Gulu University will continue writing
more proposals to donors through the government to get more test kits and
reagents to run tests and that they still need few things to fix in the
Laboratory in a bid to elevate it to Biosafety level three to match the
standard of Uganda Virus Research Institute.
Dr Paska Apiyo, in –charge of COVID -19 treatment center at Gulu Regional
Referral, says that the accreditation shall ease the management of the pandemic
in the regions since testing and isolation of patients shall be done quickly to
avoid spread to other people.
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Apiyo said before, they used to take test samples to Uganda Virus
Research Institute in Entebbe or another laboratory in Adjumani and that it
used to take between four days to one week before they receive the results,
something that greatly hindered their work.
to COVID -19 situation report by Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, as of last
week, there were a cumulative number of 670 positive cases and out of those,
658 were discharged upon recovery, while 16 were referred to Mulago Hospital
for future management.