The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved Uganda’s national tuberculosis reference laboratory to a supranational tuberculosis reference lab.
The lab, located in Wandegeya, opposite the public service ministry, becomes the second supranational tuberculosis reference lab in Africa, the first being in South Africa.
It also becomes one of the 33 supranational tuberculosis reference labs the world over.
This means the lab can now carry out rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis, including multi-resistant strands. It also means other countries in the region can now send samples to be tested here at the lab than send them to South Africa or abroad like the case has been.
“It’s going to be much easier in terms of disease diagnosis,” said the lab’s head Dr. Moses Joloba during the launch yesterday. “We now have the equipment, the necessary facilities and the capacity. It will be taking us less than two hours to carry out a diagnosis.”
He said as a lab with a supranational status, they will also be engaged in research and will be responsible for quality assurance of all diagnoses done in the country. They will also provide technical assistance to other health personnel from laboratories both in Uganda and Africa.
Also, as a result of this elevation, he said the Government has agreed to build the lab a new home. The new home will be located in Luzira, a Kampala suburb. It is estimated to cost about $2.4m.