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Gov’t opens ‘world class’ animal disease diagnostic lab

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Friday, December 6, 2019

Some of the lab equipment during the inauguration in Juba, Fri, Dec 6, 2019 | Credit | Charles Wote/Eye Radio

The government has inaugurated the first animal disease central diagnostic laboratory that will identify common tropical diseases affecting livestock in South Sudan.

According to reports, South Sudan ranks 7th in livestock farming in Africa.

But for the past years, the country has been relying on neighboring countries such as Uganda and Kenya to test and confirm tropical diseases affecting animals in the country.

Some of the common diseases affecting livestock in South Sudan include East coast fever, food and mouth disease, Brucella, and anthrax as well as rift valley fever.

The newly established laboratory is set to be the first national referral laboratory that will diagnose various types of animal diseases in the country.

The newly inaugurated laboratory worth $500,000 is classified as level one with five different sections, which fit international standards.

The first section called Microbiology or Bacteriology will identify bacteria using grams staining method through a biochemical testing, milk ring test for Brucella and blood smear staining for anthrax.

Meanwhile, the Parasitology section will help to identify ticks using acarology and diagnose blood parasites using microscopy.

It will also identify biting flies using entomology and helminthes (worms) in fecal samples using microscopy.

The Serology or Virology section will diagnose viral diseases in sera samples using Elisa techniques and Agar Gel Immunodiffusion Assay or AGID.

And the molecular biology also known as Polymerase chain reaction or PCR section shall genetically diagnose diseases using conventional PCR and uses real time molecular biology.

“The inauguration also comes in a time to meet the current state of emergency declared by the President on the ongoing flooding in the country which by large contributed to widespread animal diseases countrywide,” said James Janka Duku, minister of Livestock and Fisheries.

Speaking on the inauguration ceremony, the Vice President, Dr. James Wani Igga, said the new laboratory will “enhance global system of detecting and preventing animal diseases”.

For his part, Meshack Malo, the country Representative of FAO, stated that the UN food agency has trained enough manpower to run the new facility.

These include 18 technicians that are going to run the laboratory plus 71 other technicians trained out of Juba that will ensure that “samples get to reach this place at the right form’.

The animal disease and diagnostic laboratory project is funded by the Japanese Government.

It is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations through trans-boundary animal project.

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