To prevent the spread of epidemics, the German government is funding, through KfW Development Bank and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, a project for the establishment of mobile laboratories in the East African Community (EAC). This project was initiated in September 2017, with the aim to diagnose infections in remote areas.
Dr. Sonoiya, head of the health department at the EAC headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, reports that the EAC is on high alert due to the current Ebola outbreaks in the DRC. This project actively prepares the region to control and fight epidemic disease outbreaks.
The project intends to install nine mobile laboratories throughout the six EAC partner states, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. In addition, the project is also building the capacity of employees from the national public health laboratories within the EAC region to operate the mobile laboratories. Between October 1st – 27th 2018, two experts from each of the six partner states were trained at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) in Hamburg, Germany, in how to set up and operate the mobile laboratories, how to protect themselves from infection whilst working in the laboratory and how to identify different pathogens using sensitive diagnostic techniques.