UGANDA – The Mbale Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority Diagnostic and Research Laboratory (UWADRL) have achieved international accreditation from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

This accreditation, awarded under the International ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard, marks a historic first for Ugandan veterinary laboratories, showcasing their commitment to excellence in diagnostic services.

UWADRL, situated in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya peninsula, has emerged as the pioneering wildlife laboratory in the entire East African region to secure this prestigious accreditation.

This achievement accentuates Uganda’s dedication to advancing veterinary diagnostics in wildlife conservation, paving the way for enhanced monitoring and management of wildlife health.

Gloria Akurut from UWADRL emphasized the significance of accreditation in instilling confidence in laboratory services and fostering domestic and international partnerships. This recognition not only elevates the reputation of Ugandan veterinary laboratories but also underscores their pivotal role in safeguarding animal health and biodiversity.

Dr. Philip Wakimweri, Director of MVDL, highlighted a significant milestone in the laboratory’s capabilities, securing accreditation for diagnosing critical bacterial diseases like brucellosis and trypanosomiasis.

Challenges and opportunities

Despite these achievements, funding constraints remain a challenge for veterinary diagnostic services in Uganda. Dr. Wakimweri emphasized the urgent need for adequate funding to sustain accreditation and address shortages of essential reagents vital for critical diagnostic procedures.

Deliberate prioritization of funding and robust veterinary laboratory policies are essential to overcome these challenges and ensure continued excellence in veterinary diagnostics.

Patrick Ogwork Agwa, from the Ministry of Health, highlighted the synergistic efforts under the One Health Platform, bringing together key stakeholders to address holistic health concerns encompassing human, environmental, and animal health.

Effective veterinary diagnostics play a crucial role in preventing zoonotic diseases and mitigating public health risks.

The event also marked the official close-out of the USAID Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) project, which provided crucial technical support to both laboratories, facilitating their journey towards international accreditation.

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