By Dr. Jennifer Serwanga Ssempala, BVM, PhD Assistant Director Research, Uganda Virus Research Institute.
On the Delta and Media Hype
It is correct, the Delta variant is taking over the global epid emic. However the media is more sensational than helpful, they are not bringing out the key message.
Health experts have appealed to the Government to step up checks on laboratories that conduct COVID-19 tests in the wake of inaccurate results attributed to some health facilities.
Prof. Ponsiano Kaleebu, the executive director of Uganda Virus Research Institute, said some testing facilities are not providing accurate information, which is a risk to the public.
The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) has detected the Indian COVID-19 variant in Kampala.
According to officials from the Ministry of Health, the variant also referred to as -B.1.617 was detected from travelers returning from Indian. The variant was picked up after the travelers went to get tested after they were feeling unwell.
The UVRI with support from Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence (THRIVE-2) conducted a Mentorship Training in Scientific writing for 25 staff and students (MSC and PhD) in November 2020. A follow up training was planned to assess progress with publication of their work.
The PoC VL project was launched at UVRI on the 13th of April 2021. The purpose of the EAPOC-VL project is to examine the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of using point of care viral load(PoC VL) monitoring is to improve virological suppression among children and adolescents (age 0-19) years) living with HIV in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The UVRI Director Professor Pontiano Kaleebu in his address on Uganda's health care status hosted at NBSUG, he mentioned that "PA variant means that the virus is mutating and creating new strains different from others. We became concerned when the UK variant was first confirmed".
The American Ambassador to Uganda Natalie Brown, together with her delegation visited UVRI - Arua Office today the 29th of March 2021. The visitors were very impressed with the amount of research being done at the UVRI and the capacity it has for disease diagnostics in the West Nile region.
Persons administering vaccinations should follow appropriate precautions to minimize risk for disease exposure and spread. Hands should be cleansed with an alcohol-based waterless antiseptic hand rub or washed with soap and water before preparing vaccines for administration and between each patient contact.
There has always been a challenging question on how collaborations and strategic partnerships can harness the power of data. A standing question is asked how they can use the data to tackle the most devastating health issues.