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.



US Delegation visits Uganda Virus Research Institute and Zika Forest

A high level delegation from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) visited the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. 

The group was received by the Deputy Director of Uganda Virus Research Institute Dr Julius Lutwama and senior staff of the institute.

Dr Lutwama briefed the delegation about the institute and ongoing research activities.

The delegation later toured the Arbovirology laboratory, Special pathogens laboratory, Expanded programme on immunization (EPI) laboratory and the National HIV reference laboratory. 

The delegation praised the institute for quality research in human infections and for contributing to efforts of addressing health challenges.

Earlier, the delegation toured Zika Forest along Entebbe Road. Speaking after touring the forest, Dr Lutwama said the visit was an opportunity to share knowledge about ongoing research at the forest.

The team also got an opportunity to see the steel research tower used for carrying out detailed research and other ecological studies.

 Zika forest is a research field station and is under the protection of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

CDC Donates Laboratory equipment to UVRI HIV Reference Lab

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has donated laboratory equipment worth shillings 2.6 billion to the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The equipment was handed over to the Director of Uganda Virus Research Institute Prof Pontiano Kaleebu at a meeting in the UVRI Directors office.


Global Health Team visits Uganda Virus Research Institute

A global health team (Joint External Evaluation Team) visits Uganda Virus Research Institute to assess the institute’s capacity to respond to infectious diseases. The visit is part of activities to measure the country’s status and progress in building the necessary capacities to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats


Namibian Ministry of Health Team Visits Uganda Virus Research Institute on capacity building mission

A team from the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Namibia has visited the Uganda Virus Research Institute to acquaint themselves with operations of the institute. The team led by Mr Puumue Katijiuanjo, the Director of Health Information and Research was here on 22nd March 2017 to learn how to develop capacity for laboratory research, vector surveillance and research collaborations.


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