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Infrastructural and Human Resources capacity building effort in the context of Covid-19

In a joint action with the initiative to support Portuguese-speaking African countries on approaching the challenges inherent to Covid-19 global pandemic, launched by Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IHMT-UNL), by Centro Ciência LP - under the auspices of UNESCO, and by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), CIBIO contributed to the strengthening of the technical and scientific capacity of the Central Hospital of Lubango (Hospital Dr. Agostinho Neto), through the granting of equipment and laboratory training for support to that health unit in the Province of Huíla for the diagnosis of Covid-19.

This laboratory capacity building action, intervened on the ground by the University Mandume Ya Ndemufayo, partner institution of the TwinLab of Angola, comprises three major components:

i)    Consignment to the Angolan city of Lubango, through a CIBIO grant to its TwinLabs’ Network, of a PCR-RT scientific machine and accessory equipment for screening tests, including RNA extraction kits and IPE;
ii)    Laboratory technical-scientific training for health professionals and other elements involved in scientific projects of this Province;
iii)    Participation in research projects to be launched as part of the approach to infectious diseases in Africa.

The initiative has the support of the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through Camões I. P., and the action benefited from the invaluable support of the Angolan Embassy in Lisbon.

In parallel, and as an exclusive initiative, CIBIO developed a similar process for strengthening the technical and scientific capacities of the future Molecular Biology Laboratory of the TwinLab of Namibia, in its final stage of settlement, at the Neudamm Campus of the University of Namibia (UNAM). Also for this TwinLab, scientific equipment, testing accessories and laboratory consumables were granted, and a technical training programme was prepared to support the country's health units in the diagnosis of CoViD-19. In Namibia, besides UNAM, the initiative has the high-level support from the Namibian Ministry of Health.