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CIDRZ – USAID TBLON Project hands over a cutting-edge automated genomic sequencing machine to TDRC in Ndola

Aligned with our mission of improving access to quality healthcare in Zambia through innovative capacity development, the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Tuberculosis Local Organisation Network (TBLON) project proudly handed over a state-of-the-art Genomic sequencing machine worth over 2 million Kwacha to the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) in Ndola meant to revolutionise patient care.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr George Sinyangwe, represented by the Deputy Permanent Secretary – Copperbelt Province, Mr Daniel Kamenga, described the handover ceremony as a significant milestone in public health. The event took place on 23rd  June at Ndola Teaching Hospital.

‘Handing this machine signifies a new chapter in Zambia’s fight against diseases and showcases the country’s commitment to advancing healthcare outcomes. This machine will empower scientists to process larger sample volumes, increase outputs, and obtain high-quality data for various biological studies, ’ Dr Sinyangwe said.

He also thanked CIDRZ for its support with modern equipment.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to CIDRZ through the USAID TBLON project for their continued dedication to public health. Their support in procuring this specialised equipment and collaboration with Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) in training our staff in bioinformatics and COVID sample storage is invaluable. With the support of esteemed partners like USAID and CIDRZ, Zambia is on the path to realising its vision of providing quality healthcare services accessible to every citizen.” Said Dr Sinyangwe

Meanwhile, CIDRZ’s CEO, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe, said the demonstration resonates perfectly with CIDRZ’s vision of creating a Zambia, and a region, where everyone can access quality healthcare and enjoy the best possible health outcomes.

Dr Sikazwe, represented by CIDRZ Chief Financial Officer Mr Ackim Sinkala, described the event as a significant milestone towards Zambia and a region where we can contribute to advances in molecular biology, vaccine development and genomic surveillance.

“With this cutting-edge technology, the TDRC will be able to produce results more efficiently and within a reduced timeframe”. She said.

This advanced machine automates and streamlines the process of preparing DNA or RNA libraries, which are crucial for next-generation sequencing technologies. Its integration into Zambia’s healthcare infrastructure is set to bring forth numerous benefits.

The USAID TBLON project has also supported TDRC with reagents and lab supplies worth over 2.6 million kwacha and training in bioinformatics for lab staff. Further, the project has donated seven handheld blood gas analysers to the Ministry of Health valued at 2 million Kwacha. These instruments have been delivered to the following Hospitals: Levy Mwanawasa UTH, The University Teaching Hospital, Ndola Teaching Hospital, Kitwe Teaching Hospital, Livingstone Teaching Hospital, and Solwezi General Hospital.