M a r k e t N e w s

Sh1.7b to boost better storage of biomedical materials

Posted on : Tuesday, 20th September 2016

 The United States has donated Sh1.7 billion ($17 million) to Kenya to improve its storage of biomedical materials.

 
The money will be used to improve storage infrastructure and train public health workers and those in life-sciences like zoology, microbiology, physiology and biochemistry to mitigate the threat of infectious diseases.
 
When not handled properly or lands in the wrong hands, infectious bacteria such as anthrax can be intentionally released to the public.
 
“A health epidemic can kill thousands and lead to panic, riots, broken down health systems and even collapse of economies, all of which can destabilise governments,” said Health Secretary Cleopas Mailu.
 
The funding comes at a time when there is global concern about potential misuse of biological toxins and agents for terrorism purposes, with medical research laboratories being considered for heavier security.
 
Amidst these reports, Kenya has moved to tighten potential loopholes that terror groups can use to lay their hands on chemicals that can be used for biological terror attacks.
 
Dr Mailu said the ministry was finalising an agreement for ratification concerning cooperation of the US and Kenya in reducing threats of biological attacks.
 
The two governments said laboratories at the Isiolo and Kajiado level four hospitals and at the Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute in Embakasi had been identified for infrastructure upgrading using some of the money.
 
Construction work is also set to begin on a sample management facility and other infrastructure upgrades at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, State Department of Livestock and at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).
 
“Other laboratories will be built in Busia, Kitale, Machakos, Malindi and Marsabit to handle pathogens,” said Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko.
 
Early this year the government, through the ministries of Health and Internal security, visited Kemri to inspect security measures in place to counter possible threats.
 
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the visit was meant to review the facility’s security level.
 
Barely three weeks after the tour, security agencies foiled a biological terrorist attack using anthrax and arrested three people, one of them a medical intern at Wote Hospital.
 
International health agreements, including the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention, urge countries to prioritise implementation of biosecurity against biological threats.
 
Human and animal health facilities in the country like Kemri are considered biological threats since they routinely work with pathogenic micro-organisms.
 
A national survey shows that of the 90 laboratories surveyed, half of them handled pathogens considered biological threats yet they have no capacity to mitigate associated risks.

Source : www.nation.co.ke
Featured Companies
  • /
  • African Business Development Association
  • /
  • TITAN Containers A/S
  • Mercury Tube Products
  • SMES Today Magazine
  • DOOREE INTERNATIONAL CO LTD
  • africabusiness.com
  • Your Banner HERE!

Complete List  

Advertisers:

Afrotrade International Marketing, Tel: +971-50-6285684
© 1998-2021 Afrotrade