By Steven Enatu
The Aids Support Organization Soroti region project in partnership with Soroti regional referral hospital with funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief [PEPFAR] through Center for Disease Control has commissioned the Soroti regional referral hospital laboratory hub that was under renovation.
The lab that acts as a hub for the region went through infrastructural improvement when the country director for CDC visited the facility and noticed the need to rehabilitate, support and build a robust laboratory network that provides efficient and effective diagnostic and surveillance services.
Under the project ‘accelerating epidemic control in Soroti Region’, the facility was renovated at a tune of Shs672 million according to Dr. Yunus Miya who was representing the TASO executive director during the commissioning.
Dr. Ben Watmon, the hospital director Soroti regional referral hospital applauded the US government for the support saying the lab upgrade is very vital since diagnostic services have become a basic requirement in providing effective and efficient medical services.
He said the laboratory is also timely since Soroti regional hospital has been approved as a teaching hospital for Soroti University.
Watmon cautioned the staff to ensure that they serve the community from the last mile villages with utmost love while offering quality services.
“Let the services be totally free and acceptable. It should serve the last man beyond,” he said.
Dr. Charles Olaro, the Director Curative Services at the Ministry of Health who represented the permanent secretary ministry of health said the laboratory should be able to carry out timely testing and response to results.
Dr. Arthur Fitzmaurice, the Senior Health Scientist at Centers for Disease Control who represented the country director CDC said the US government since 2007 has been supporting the Ministry of Health to build a laboratory network with the capacity to provide diagnostic and surveillance services.
This he said is in line with the HIV/AIDS response measures.
CDC uses the Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation (SLMTA) approach to train labs to implement the Laboratory Quality Management System (LQMS) and attain international accreditation status.
The majority of medical decisions are made on the basis of quality laboratory testing according to established standards and enforced regulations.
Thomas Ebwalu, Technical director Canti Lever Construction Company that was undertaking the renovation works said it was done according to the guidance from the ministry of health of a standard medical laboratory.
The infrastructure Improvement of the laboratory also went jointly with some new equipment like biosafety and autoclave machines that were installed.
In pursuit of Uganda Vision 2040, the government of Uganda through the ministry of health aims at ensuring Uganda has a productive population that effectively contributes to socio-economic growth which will be achieved by provision of accessible and quality health care to all people in Uganda.
This is a great milestone in Uganda’s goal for UHC is providing at least 65% of its population quality health Care and financial protection by 2030.