Lab Matters Fall 2022 - Page 20


Building SARS-CoV-2 Molecular Testing Capacity in Kenya ’ s Kakuma Refugee Camp

by Nelson Akenga , senior informatics specialist , Global Health ; Maria Landron , senior specialist , Global Health ; Samantha Musumeci , senior specialist , Global Health ; Rufus Nyaga , deputy country director , Global Health ; Edwin Ochieng , country director , Global Health and Jully Okonji , senior laboratory specialist , Global Health
The Kakuma Refugee Camp is the largest camp in East and Central Africa . Through an APHL initiative , in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) and the International Rescue Committee ( IRC ), a molecular laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 testing was established in May 2022 via molecular testing training and mentorship .
APHL procured the necessary equipment and supplies , ensured delivery and installation and trained the staff in proper protocols and procedures . To date , the laboratory has successfully processed more than 500 samples which have contributed to high throughput . Previously , a single run of four on
GeneXpert would take 45 minutes , compared to 93 samples in one hour using the QuantStudio5 . The turnaround time for results was reduced from 72 hours to nearly 24 hours . And for the first time , the laboratory has the capacity to conduct real-time polymerase chain reaction ( RT-PCR ) molecular testing .
To ensure the quality of laboratory results , APHL initiated quality improvement initiatives that focused on quality manual development , standard operating procedure development , equipment maintenance and biosafety / biosecurity best practices adherence . APHL also trained the laboratory staff on how to report their data to the National COVID-19
Data Center , and carried out a laboratory information system assessment to establish core laboratory requirements and how they could be enhanced in the established electronic medical record system .
Using lessons learned in Kakuma , APHL is currently working towards establishing RT-PCR molecular testing capacity at the Dadaab Refugee Camp Laboratory . g

Save the Dates !

MARCH 13 – 15 , 2023 ATLANTA , GA

The new APHL Infectious Disease Laboratory Conference provides a forum to discuss the latest developments on detection and characterization of infectious diseases of public health concern . It ’ s a new opportunity for public health laboratory professionals , clinical laboratorians , leading researchers and diagnostics developers to share their latest findings , technologies and developments and generate solutions to infectious disease problems .

www . aphl . org / IDLabCon

18 LAB MATTERS Fall 2022
PublicHealthLabs @ APHL APHL . org