EU and WHO Developing Molecular Diagnostic Facility in Wau to Identify COVID-19

The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have opened a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, to increase COVID-19 and other high-threat infectious disease testing capabilities.

A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine and other molecular laboratory accessories have been bought and deployed in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region as part of efforts to increase COVID-19 testing. This will allow for early diagnosis and the start of targeted disease control activities.

In addition, the laboratory will assist with influenza sentinel surveillance, virological studies, and sample referral from the region’s peripheral laboratories. Capacity for testing can be achieved by developing appropriate facilities and knowledge. The PCR testing laboratory in Wau will help with medical care as well as public health initiatives.

The strengthening of the health laboratory in Wau, according to Wim Vandenbroucke, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to the Republic of South Sudan, is part of a much larger European Union commitment to help the people of South Sudan.

The EU conveyed its heartfelt gratitude to healthcare workers in Wau and elsewhere, who are critical in ensuring that all South Sudanese, particularly the most vulnerable, have access to essential healthcare services.

One of the most rapidly evolving and important tools for monitoring and controlling diseases is molecular diagnostics. In order to build a sustainable public health response to infectious disease outbreaks and other global health security problems, laboratories must provide high-quality diagnoses. The PCR machine’s installation in Wau will boost the country’s healthcare system’s capabilities and increase the country’s reaction to outbreaks caused by COVID-19 or any other deadly infection.

Building stronger health systems necessitate the development of physical laboratories with the necessary equipment, as well as the training of highly competent employees who can collect, handle, analyse, and report findings effectively.

Since the project began, significant progress has been made, including strengthening the National Public Health Laboratory’s capacity, procuring laboratory supplies, renovating the Wau laboratory infrastructure, training laboratory personnel on COVID-19 testing and sample management, as well as the principles of COVID-19 infection prevention and control, and supplying various equipment.