MOHW receives two Gene Expert machines from UNDP – Love FM

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Belize received two expert genetic sequencing machines from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The official presentation took place this morning at the Ministry of Health in Belmopan. Health Minister Kevin Bernard spoke at the ceremony.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness:It is very important to mention that enhanced surveillance is essential, as well as early testing and diagnosis as crucial elements of the national response. These Gene Xpert machines delivered as part of the partnership between the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the National AIDS Commission and UNDP fall under the support of the Global Fund’s Country Support Mechanism in the fight against the COVID pandemic -19. This particular model with a capacity of four cartridges can be used to diagnose critical infectious diseases such as SARS CoV 2, microbacterium, tuberculosis including TB resistant strains. It can also be used to test for other viral and bacterial infections. This biomedical intervention will be used to monitor response to treatment in people affected by and living with HIV/AIDS. By this, I refer to their viral load and the ultimate effect resulting from compliance with the antiretroviral drugs provided free of charge by the government of Belize to all those affected. This real-time PCR platform has the potential to deliver test results in a much shorter time than conventional tests. Gene Xxpert’s capability will assist in the early diagnosis of COVID-19 patients in regions and districts and serve other decentralized testing services in our gem. The people and government of Belize continue to appreciate this partnership with UNDP as it continues to support the growth of Belize in various aspects and today’s activity is just another statement of its commitment to the growth of our resilient country towards a healthy Belize..

UNDP official Diane Wade was present at the ceremony. Wade expressed UNDP’s commitment to helping Belize be better equipped in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The machines are valued at around a quarter of a million Belize dollars.

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