By Goodluck Musinguzi
Modern Laboratories play a critical role in disease control and prevention programs by providing timely and accurate information for use in patient management and disease surveillance. Uganda has managed deadly diseases because it invested in laboratory services that are used on the African Continent.
Dr Diana Atwine , Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health thanked the United States of America for supporting Uganda’s laboratory services through their Center for Disease Control( CDC). She welcomed the New US Ambassador Her Excellency, Natalie E Brown for her first visit at Uganda National Health Laboratories/Central Public Health Laboratories in Butabika, Nakawa Division, Kampala City.
In the African Region, the situation of laboratory services is characterized by inadequate staffing, equipment and supplies. These are the main obstacles to early detection of epidemics such as Ebola, Marburg and both multidrug-resistant and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis. We have Covid19 pandemic that has stretched laboratory services across the Globe.
Functioning public health laboratory systems rely on effective disease surveillance and prevention of major emerging, re-emerging and endemic communicable and non-communicable diseases.
HE Natalie E Brown thanked Ministry of Health for the warm welcome and for the great efforts in public health, data collection and sharing. She appreciated all the efforts to respond to the Covid19 pandemic and other health issues like HIV, TB and Malaria.
“Let us continue developing capacity and expertise to keep everyone as safe as possible. It touches my heart to see many women in leadership positions at Ministry of Health”, said Ambassador Natalie.
Dr Diana Atwine said Your Excellency, I warmly welcome you to the Ministry of Health and specifically to the Department of National Health Laboratory and Diagnostic services.
“I take this opportunity to thank the US Government, Mission in Uganda and development agencies like CDC for supporting the provision of health services to Uganda. This support has yielded stellar results in the laboratory sector like the reduction of HIV/AIDS prevalence , the management of TB and the improvement of health infrastructure and logistics”, said Dr Diana.
She further said this magnificent infrastructure, where we are hosting you today, is a clear testimony of the US support to the health sector of Uganda premised on the good relationship between our two countries.
The establishment of the Butabika facility has not only led to the expansion of CPHL and the NTRL/SRL but has had a break through that has impacted on the entire laboratory service sector in the country and East African region.