The Ministry of Health has released the names of laboratories approved to test and issue results for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Health minister Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng said that Uganda has only 9 government accredited laboratories and 3 private for profit laboratories that are licensed to test for Covid-19.
The accredited laboratories include:
1.Uganda Virus Research institute (UVRI)
2.Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL)
3.Makerere University College of Health Sciences Laboratory (MAK)
4. Adjumani Mobile Laboratory
5. Tororo Mobile Laboratory
6.Mutukula Point of entry Laboratory
7. Infectious disease institute Laboratory (IDI)
8. Mild May Laboratory
9. Uganda Cancer Institute – Fred Hutchson Lab
Private for Profit Laboratories:
1. Lancet Laboratories
2. MBN laboratories
3. Medipal Hospital Laboratory
The Ministry of Health noted with concern that a number of Ugandans are forging Covid-19 test results to suit their personal interests.
While addressing the press on the Covid-19 situation in the country last week, health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said that they have received complaints that some people, upon testing for Covid-19 have gone ahead to receive different result slips, with one indicating positive and the other negative.
This according to Dr. Aceng is unacceptable.
“We have noted serious forgery of test result certificates by sections of 5he public for reasons best known to them. The Ministry of Health strongly condemns this act,” Dr. Aceng said.
To address the forgery, Dr. Aceng said that accredited laboratories have developed unique identifiers for all results slips to differentiate them from the fake ones.
Dr. Aceng said, “I advise you to look out for the following features in order to authenticate your result;
• The signature of the manager of the testing lab
• Name of the testing lab
• Stamp of the testing lab
• QR code
The result must be traceable in the MOH data base,”
“The public is advised that upon receiving your results, scan the QR code with your phone if you have a QR scanner, it should display your name, the lab number, date of sample testing and the testing lab. This will authenticate the testing laboratory and your results,” she added.
Result discrepancies not ruled out
Dr. Aceng however did not rule out results discrepancies, where someone can test positive and then negative on retesting the same day.
In June this year, President Museveni, in one of his addresses on Covid-19 said that the Makerere University testing laboratory had announced wrong positive results which tested negative on re-testing and the number was removed from the country’s confirmed cases tally.
In her address, Dr. Aceng said that the discrepancy “can arise from the sampling technique and the amount of sample removed.”
However, she advised the public to take the test as truly positive even if they have no symptoms of Covid-19 until the discrepancy is ruled out.
Dr. Aceng said, “If you test positive for COVID 19 whether you have signs and symptoms or not, we encourage you to take the test as truly positive and take all the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.”
Dr. Aceng also announced that Uganda’s major testing laboratory, The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), had been nominated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a centre for Covid-19 genomic sequencing for the whole of East and Central Africa.