Uganda Receives 2,400 Monkeypox Test Kits Donations from WHO

Uganda Receives 2,400 Monkeypox Test Kits Donations from WHO (News Central TV)

Uganda has received 2,400 monkeypox test kits from the World Health Organisation (WHO) as donation to aid in the effective response against the spread of the disease.

Tests will be carried out in the country at the three WHO accredited laboratories: the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), National Health Laboratory Services, and another under the US Department of Defence.

Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng while receiving the donated kits in Kampala, said the gesture will go a long way in strengthening Uganda’s efforts in curtailing the infectious disease.

“We have been carrying out tests for monkeypox. In the beginning, we were taking tests to South Africa as we run the race to make sure that the cartridges are available in Uganda.”

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“Subsequently, the department of defence of the US government brought in the cartridges and we started testing in-country as we wait for WHO to accredit the laboratories that would test so that our results are internationally recognised,” she said.

Uganda has so far, carried out over 70 tests for the monkeypox virus, which all returned negative, marking the country free of the disease at the moment.

“We do not have any case of monkeypox in the country. However, that is not to say we are not worried. We border the DR Congo, which has been having cases of monkeypox for the last 10 years. And we trade with DRC and we have relatives in DRC,” Dr. Aceng disclosed.

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WHO Representative to Uganda, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, who led in donating the kits, said it was important to have available test kits to monitor and ensure prevention of the virus in the country.

“Uganda has labs that are capable of doing the tests and under the guidance of UVRI, this will be put to good use. It is important to have the surveillance to prevent monkeypox,” Dr. Yonas said.

On July 23 2022, the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), following its escalation in non-endemic countries.

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