By R. Kalyango
The Government is constructing a modern laboratory in Entebbe to be used for testing highly infectious diseases like Ebola, Marburg, avian flu and yellow fever among others.
The facility will cost $1.5m and is being financed through a loan from the World Bank.
The commissioner for livestock health and entomology, Dr. Chris Rutebarika, while inspecting the project recently, said once completed, Uganda would be able to test specimens for most of the diseases that may break out.
“We shall be able to handle tests for any disease that may break out. We shall only send specimens to other countries just to confirm our results,” he said.
Rutebarika said the construction of the facility, which is being undertaken by Kol Services within the premises of the National Animal Disease Diagnostic and Epidemiology Laboratory, is expected to be completed within 12 months.
Last year, Uganda experienced Ebola and Marburg disease outbreaks in the districts of Luwero and Kabale respectively. Since the year 2000, the country has had three Ebola outbreaks.
A conclusive diagnosis requires the Government to airlift samples to better laboratories abroad, which means weeks before results are obtained.