June 7, 2014 (JUBA) – Cholera samples, which were initially tested from laboratories in Kenya and Uganda will now be conducted in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, an official from Amref Health African said.

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A woman is given a cholera vaccine at a medical camp run by the humanitarian organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres in Minkamman, in South Sudan’s Lakes state (Photo: Getty Images)

“This will reduce the turnaround time since tests will be run locally here. Amref Health Africa will now act as quality control agency”, said Jackson Songok, a project officer at Amref Health Africa.

The move, he added, would also ensure cholera cases are better managed since doctors will get results on time and immediately determine which drugs to give affected patients.

Amref Health Africa, with support from World Health Organization (WHO) and the health ministry is reportedly boosting the capacity of national laboratories to effectively carry out Cholera tests in Juba.

Recently, however, the foundation brought into South Sudan an expert now tasked with tutoring laboratory technicians on the microbiology and parasitological nature of deadly diseases.

Aneno Irene Oriech, one of trainees, appealed to the government to continue working with Amref Health Africa, to ensure more training is conducted so as to strengthen Juba-based laboratories.

Abiem Bona, another trainee, said he was getting hand on experience on laboratory matters, having initially done theoretical training from Khartoum.

“I am trained in microbiology from Khartoum, but I have not been practicing because there is no microbiology laboratory”, he said.

Over the years Amref Health Africa has also been training clinical officers and midwifes at Maridi national health training institute.

While addressing Tuesday’s health cluster meeting in Juba, health minister, Riek Gai Kok said the country, through the national laboratory, was due to locally start confirming disease out breaks.