NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Ministry of Health and private sector
partners on Tuesday launched a state-of-the-art laboratory to
enhance screening of the HIV virus amid quest to eliminate the
killer disease by 2030.
Rashid Aman, chief
administrative secretary in the ministry of health, said the
launch of the advanced HIV testing equipment, through a
partnership with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, will boost
management of the HIV/AIDS pandemic that affects an estimated
1.5 million Kenyans.
“We are engaging the
private sector to boost delivery of quality healthcare services,
and the launch of the HIV diagnostic laboratory will help screen
viral load on the infected and inform the best treatment
options,” Aman said in Nairobi.
The new HIV
diagnostic laboratory, called Cobas 8800, will be installed at
Kenya Medical Research institute (KEMRI).
Kenya aims to
achieve a 100 percent HIV testing target in the near future
through investments in modern diagnostic equipment, Aman said.
efficient HIV testing will boost management of opportunistic
infections linked to the virus,” he said. “The Cobas 8800 that
we are launching today marks a new milestone in the fight
against HIV/AIDS and co-related infectious diseases like
hepatitis B and C.”
Kenya, South Africa
and Uganda are the only African countries where Roche has
launched the state-of-the-art HIV diagnostic laboratory.
Roche CEO Severin
Schwan said the launch of an upgraded HIV testing facility
through a public-private partnership will boost Kenya’s war
against infectious diseases.
“We are committed to
be part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s healthcare agenda through
investments in infrastructure that can aid diagnosis and
treatment of communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis,”
The new HIV
diagnostic laboratory will be able to test an estimated 1
million people a year, he said.