Yesterday, the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over laboratory equipment to the Ministry of Health of Maldives. The equipment donated by USAID will pave way for the establishment of a Gene-Sequencing Facility in the National Health Laboratory.
At a special ceremony held yesterday, the equipment was officially handed over from the USAID by Director of USAID for Sri Lanka and Maldives’ Office of Governance and Vulnerable Populations, Kevin Dean. From the Maldivian side, the equipment was officially received by Minister of Health, Ahmed Naseem.
Speaking at the ceremony, Kevin Dean remarked that donation marks the progress against the Covid-19 pandemic with 100 various laboratory equipment being provided to the Maldives. He further added that USAID experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be facilitating training for laboratory technicians in molecular diagnostics and genotyping of COVID-19.
The establishment of the Gene Sequencing facility will mark the National Health Laboratory as the first-ever provider of the service in the public sector of the Maldives. Through gene sequencing, different strains of the Covid-19 virus can be identified, allowing early preventive measures to be implemented.