EPHI, CDC lab experts conducting a COVID-19 lab test at the EPHI Reference lab

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Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and CDC lab experts are conducting a COVID-19 lab test at the EPHI Reference lab. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, CDC is working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health, EPHI and other public health partners to ensure the people of Ethiopia have access to better diagnostic services to protect them from COVID-19 and help prevent the further spread of the virus. As part of this effort, CDC experts are working on the frontlines with EPHI leadership as part of the national emergency COVID-19 response team, providing support to improve and expand laboratory testing, epidemiology and surveillance, infection prevention and control, and planning.
Through these response efforts, CDC has embedded two senior laboratorians to provide direct hands-on technical assistance at the national COVID 19 testing laboratory. CDC’s direct support has helped the national laboratory to build its capacity to develop a national testing algorithm for COVID-19, conduct verification of multiple testing kits, and implement quality assurance activities during rapid expansion and decentralization of testing. CDC is also supporting the procurement of supplies for COVID-19 testing to maintain and expand capacity.
Just three months ago, Ethiopia had to send its COVID-19 samples abroad. Now the country is typically testing more than 4000 specimens a day and is planning to open more laboratories in Addis Ababa and in various regional states that are capable of conducting routine COVID-19 testing. This is a critical step in being prepared given the importance of early detection and response during outbreaks of pandemic potential like COVID-19.
CDC Ethiopia has invested more than $64 million to build the capacity of Ethiopia’s laboratories and health facilities to strengthen the country’s public health infrastructure over the past two decades.