World Bank Provides Over $63M For Multi-Country Lab Network In East Africa Region

East African Business Week/ reports on the recent decision by the World Bank to back the creation of “a unique regional network of 25 public health laboratories” in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda with $63.66 million in support.

The multi-country laboratory network aims to increase the public’s access to diagnostic services and bolster the region’s ability to quickly identify, respond and prevent the spread of diseases. “The network will also support the roll-out of new technology for drug resistance monitoring and more efficient tuberculosis diagnosis notably for people living with HIV/AIDS,” the news service adds (Muwanga, 6/21).

“At a time when the global economic crisis has undermined Africa’s recent economic achievements, regional integration is an essential strategy for restoring medium-term growth, unlocking economies of scale, and sharpening competitiveness in Africa,” World Bank Vice President for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili said in a press release. “The World Bank is committed to supporting regional solutions that target important missing links in regional infrastructure, greater trade integration, and cross-border health issues critical to accelerating the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals,” she added (5/25).

East African Business Week/ notes the high burden of tuberculosis and growing threats of drug resistance in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and details the role each will play in the laboratory network. “The project will serve as a vehicle to implement strategic disease control priorities of regional institutions such as the East African Community (EAC) and the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC),” the news service adds.

The CDC and USAID together with the WHO and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease partnered in the design and development of the project, the East African Business Week/ writes (6/21).

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