Wednesday, 17 January 2018

UVRI to get a new diagnostic laboratory at its station in Arua District.
A new diagnostic laboratory is to be constructed at the Uganda Virus Research Institute field station in Arua District.
The United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) will fund the Multimillion shillings facility construction.
The new facility will provide a greater ability to research on plague epidemics as well as emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.
The news of the construction was announced at the groundbreaking ceremony at Arua field station attended by representatives of the US embassy, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staff of UVRI, Arua District authorities and construction contractors.  
Arua Resident District Commissioner Peter Dibele who was the Chief Guest at the ground breaking ceremony commended the United States for supporting initiatives to address health challenges in the country and promised that the district authorities would support the institute and its projects to ensure they are successful in combating threats from diseases.
The Deputy Director of Uganda Virus Research Institute Dr Julius Lutwama said he was excited to witness the commissioning of the construction works for the new facility. ‘’It was found necessary to improve the work that goes on at this place considering that it is a national reference laboratory. I’m excited that the request that was made to DTRA for the construction of a new facility has been fulfilled,’’ Dr Lutwama said.
The project Manager of Arua plague station Linda Atiku said the facility would be critical in providing important diagnostic information on plague and other infectious diseases affecting Arua and neighboring districts. “We have done a lot to respond to diseases in this region such as Plague, Typhoid, Yellow Fever among others but we had some challenges especially in terms of capacity. With this facility in place, we are looking forward to having more studies so that we can address some of the health challenges affecting Arua and the neighboring districts,’’Atiku said.
The representative of DTRA and CDC Chief Mike Panek said the facility is an important component of biosafety and biosecurity considering the strategic location of the Arua district. He said Uganda faces challenges of cross border movement especially of animals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan noting that the risk of diseases spreading is high. He stressed that the facility would strengthen the research capacity to detect diseases and find methods to control them.



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Marburg hemorrhagic fever (Marburg HF) is a rare, severe type of hemorrhagic fever which affects both humans and non-human primates. Caused by a genetically unique zoonotic (that is, animal-borne) RNA virus of the filovirus family, its recognition led to the creation of this virus family. The five subtypes of Ebola virus are the only other known members of the filovirus family.
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