The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic testing centre to be based at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) is now fully functional and was officially commissioned by Minister of Health Jappie Mhango on Thursday.
This now brings the number of testing centres nationwide to 15. The LUANAR Centre has a capacity to test 96 specimens per day which is adds as a milestone.
Mhango, while urging Malawians to continue adhering to all hygiene practices all times to avoid further spread of the pandemic, said the Ministry needs more testing centres.
He described the event as “another milestone in as far fighting the fight to contain the pandemic is concerned”.
“This is a very momentous moment and we are encouraging our fellow educational institutions to offer their facilities as testing centre as it more are needed for better analysis since this COVID-19 requires high and accurate data,” he said.
In his speech, LUANAR Council chairperson, Professor James Seyani said he is happy that the learning institution has joined fight against COVID-19 pandemic as Malawi continue to battle it out in line with the measures set by World Health Organisation.
Seyani said LUANAR has qualified lecturers, excellent laboratories as well as equipment to efficiently carry out the tests.
The testing centre has been made possible with funding from National Oil Company of Malawi Limited (NOCMA), which donated K10 million for LUANAR to complete setting up a full COVID-19 testing centre.
In her speech, NOCMA deputy Chief Executive Officer, Helen Buluma said everyone is aware that COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has not spared any country.
She said the devastating effect of this pandemic on the country health systems, national economy and individual livelihoods has been enormous; thus requiring concerted efforts from various stakeholders to pull together of resources and capacity in response to the pandemic.
She said it is in recognition to this need for a multi-pronged and concerted approach to addressing COVID-19 that NOCMA stepped in to provide financial support towards the operationalisation of this testing centre.
“Although our main business it to import fuel and ensure fuel security of supply for Malawi, we at NOCMA are very happy to be part of the National response towards addressing COVID-19 and its effects on our society.
“Let me also take this opportunity to call upon other companies and institutions to step out and support the National response towards COVID-19.
“As a country, we can win this battle against COVID-19. However, we cannot leave the fight to government alone,” she said.
Apart from NOCMA, JTI Tobacco Company also assisted LUANAR financially for the same activity of strengthening capacity of the testing centre.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :