WHO names UVRI reference lab for Covid19 in Africa


Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) has been selected as one of the reference labs for COVID-19 in Africa, to provide genetic information needed for the swift and effective control of COVID-19 and other emerging pathogens.

UVRI is also an Africa CDC reference lab.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, while addressinf the public on COVID-19 testing in Uganda on Friday.

“Allow me to inform you that the Uganda Virus institute (UVRI) has been nominated by the WHO as the center for COVID 19 genomic sequencing for the whole of East and Central Africa”.

Victoria University

All the laboratories that have been accredited to carry out COVID 19 testing are continuously assessed and their staff re-oriented at UVRI.

The following are the accredited laboratories:

1.Uganda Virus Research institute (UVRI)
2.Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL)
3.Makerere University College of Health Sciences Laboratory (MAK)

  1. Adjumani Mobile Laboratory
  2. Tororo Mobile Laboratory
    6.Mutukula Point of entry Laboratory
  3. Infectious disease institute Laboratory (IDI)
  4. Mild May Laboratory
  5. Uganda Cancer Institute – Fred Hutchson Lab.

Private for Profit Laboratories:

  1. Lancet Laboratories
  2. MBN laboratories
  3. Medipal Hospital Laboratory.

In May 2020, the Ministry of Health set up a centralized electronic result download system.

This system works in a similar manner like a normal email account with instant access to results across the country.

All the COVID 19 accredited testing laboratories in Uganda upload the results into this electronic results dispatch system (eRDS).

The results are then translated into a printable patient report that can be accessed by those who have been given access rights through pass words.

The system is an online system that requires internet and data.

Selected officers from the district health offices, general hospitals Referral Hospitals and National Hospitals have been given access rights and online accounts to access results for any patient within their respective domains.

Anyone in the district whose sample was collected can visit a district hospital and request for their results after providing their personal information.

Other simpler and easier methods of accessing results are being developed such as an SMS (for negative results) but these may require the usual telecom charges for messages.

Because of the urgent need to reduce community transmission of COVID 19, additional effort is taken by the Ministry of Health and district teams to make a phone call and physical follow up of anyone who has been diagnosed positive for COVID.



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