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EAC-RNPHRL-CD Project - Phase I Milestones

The key objective of the Project is to strengthen the capacity of Partner States to rapidly detect and respond to disease outbreaks. This is being achieved through the mobile laboratory networks divided into two phases of implementation. Phase I (2017-2020) focused particularly on viral pathogens of biosafety levels 3 and 4. Phase II (2021-2024) focuses particularly on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance and response. 

Phase I of the EAC Regional Network of Public Health Reference Laboratories registered the following milestones:

  1. Procurement of mobile laboratory units

Procured and deployed nine (9) complete Mobile labs in the EAC region each fully equipped with portable PCR machines, ELISA machines, Gloveboxes, mobile vehicles and electrical power supply system

Distribution of the 9 Mobile Laboratory units in the EAC Region under Phase I

Mobile labs 6

 

  1. Deployments of mobile laboratories during disease outbreak responses

As the first respondent to confirm the cause of disease outbreaks, preparedness (field simulation exercises) and to conduct scientific researches.

The Mobile laboratories have been deployed for X21 times in response to suspected and/or confirmed disease outbreaks such as Ebola outbreak in Kisoro Uganda 2019 and 2022, Dengue in Tanzania 2019, Marburg in Tanzania in 2022, COVID-19 pandemic in the EAC region, X9 times in preparedness and X12 times to conduct scientific studies.

Number of deployments of mobile laboratories per Partner State, as of November 2023

Partner States Number of Field missions/deployments Total    
Disease outbreak response      Preparedness & Training        Conduct Scientific Studies         
Burundi 5 2 2 9
Kenya 3 1 2 6
Rwanda 2 2 1 5
South Sudan 3 1 1 5
Tanzania 4 2 4 10
Uganda 4 1 2 7
Total 21 9 12 42


Deployments of mobile laboratories in the EAC Region during disease outbreaks

 

  1. Training of laboratory experts and harmonization of testing protocols

Trained 406 laboratory experts in various areas of laboratory diagnosis as trainers, testers, shippers of infectious substances (IATA), ICT and specialized drivers. In addition, the project provided technical supports to the EAC mobile laboratory in partnership with Bernhard Notch Institute of Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Hamburg Germany.

Experts being trained in mobile laboratory set-up

mobile labs 7

 
  Training programs undertaken (Phases I & II)

Sno

Training of Laboratory Experts (on)

Total trained in the Partner States (406)

Burundi

Kenya

Rwanda 

South Sudan

Tanzania

Uganda

1

Operation of mobile laboratories (practical for trainers)

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Diagnosis and handling of biosafety level 3 and 4 pathogens (accelerated Ebola response)

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

Diagnosis of Corona Virus using BNITM in-house kits (trainers)

1

1

1

1

1

1

4

Operation of mobile laboratories in Partner States (users)

14

7

12

5

21

45

5

Shipment of infectious substance according to International regulations (IATA)

18

18

16

11

17

15

6

Seegene Analysis Software

2

2

2

2

2

2

7

Drivers of the mobile laboratory vehicles (specialized in use and maintenance) 

2

5

2

2

3

5

8

M-pox diagnosis (emergency trainers)

3

2

1

3

3

2

9

Diagnosis of bacteriological pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance detection (trainers)

3

2

3

3

3

3

10

Local production of Proficiency Test (PT) panels for EQA programs (Partner States)

5

13

5

5

9

7

11

Diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease

0

0

0

0

0

8

12

Scientific manuscript writing

3

3

3

3

0

3

13

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) (users)

2

2

2

2

2

2

14

Bioinformatics training on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

2

2

2

2

2

2

15

Bioinformatics training on genomic viral sequencing

2

2

2

2

2

2

16

Assay development (local production of testing kits)  

2

2

2

2

2

2

 

Total

63

65

57

47

71

103

 

  1. Facilitation of regional trade and cross border movement of people

EAC mobile labs support the assurance of regional trade through the testing of truck drivers for COVID19 at border points enabling the movement of goods and services during lock downs. Regional travel facilitation for travelers during the COVID-19 lockdowns as most of these labs were deployed at border ports of entry of the Partner States.

 


  • EAC Mobile Laboratories Training on Ebola Emergency Response - Highlights

  • EAC Mobile Laboratories Practical Laboratory Training & Field Simulation Exercise (FSX) at Namanga

 

 


East African Community
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United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
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