U.S. hands over laboratory facilities to Zimbabwe

us_embassy_in_zimbabweHarare: The United States government officially handed over a new, upgraded bio-safety level 2+ laboratory to the Minister of Health, Dr. Henry Madzorera.

The facility will enhance the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare to offer clinical and diagnostic testing as well as research on indigenous/exotic agents which may cause serious disease after inhalation, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB),typhoid (Salmonella Typhi),anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) and the H1N1 virus.

Speaking after a tour of the facilities with the Minister of Health and Child Welfare, U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray described the cooperation between the government of Zimbabwe, the private sector, and the international community as historic.

This is an historic occasion. The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is entering into a mutually beneficial relationship with a non-traditional partner, a private research laboratory administered by the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL) and Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI). This cooperation will significantly enhance Zimbabwe’s testing efficiency and enable research capacity as never before, said the U.S. Ambassador.

The laboratory received US$120,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief for the renovation of the laboratory and the procurement of supplies. In addition, CDC trained laboratory personnel on conducting assays and quality assurance.

Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr. Madzorera described the donation from the U.S. as a great enhancement to the service delivery system in the health sector. “This is a good sample of collaboration and working together. I was pleased to hear that we are now one of the top four level 2+ laboratories in the region. It means we are no longer going to export testing samples to South Africa or Zambia for H1N1 and many other diseases, said the Minister.

I was particularly pleased by the fact that that we can now diagnose HIV early in infants at the rate of 70 samples an hour, which is a great enhancement of our service delivery, said Madzorera. Previous testing methods only allowed Zimbabwe to determine HIV status in 100 samples a day.


Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *