Preps for SNRL for malaria step up

The Tropical Disease Research Center (TDRC) has stepped up preparations to becoming a Supranational Reference Laboratory for Malaria (SNRL) in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

The Center was recommended as a potential Supranational Reference Laboratory for malaria after an assessment by an Independent Selection Team (IST) constituted by SADC Secretariat. However, the Centre needed to meet certain requirements for it to attain the status of a regional reference laboratory and one of them is to develop capacity to be able to resolve malaria diagnostic challenges.

To this end, TDRC has embarked on renovations of laboratories and through SADC secretariat, acquisition of high tech equipment such as the DNA sequencing machine which will facilitate activities to be spearheaded by TDRC in its new scope of work.

According to Dr. Ray Handema TDRC’s Deputy Director, the Centre will be required to offer training to laboratory personnel from Zambia and the region in surveillance and validation of new diagnostics.

“We are very glad that our work on malaria is puting Zambia on the international platform” says Dr. Handema.

And TDRC Head of Biomedical Sciences Dr. Webster Kasongo is confident that the staff in his Department will rise to the occasion and deliver on the expectations of SADC. Dr. Kasongo adds that his Department had made progress on formulating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each laboratory in addition to improving the infrastructure, which includes construction of a new Parasitology laboratory and upgrading of the new one.