|Report from Jessie Forsyth – Director, Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project|
The Mozambique-Canada Maternal Health Project is proud to announce that the first COVID-19 testing site in Inhambane province has been set up through direct project support.
As part of ongoing efforts to support the Inhambane Provincial Health Directorate’s COVID-19 response, the project recently procured a biosafety cabinet for COVID-19 testing at the Inhambane Provincial Hospital that became operational this week. This means that, for the first time, testing can be completed in the province and in a much more timely manner. Rather than send samples to Maputo for analysis, requiring 2 weeks or more to obtain results, trained health workers can now gather samples from throughout the province and provide test results within 24 hours, marking a huge improvement in testing capacity and tracing viability. The equipment itself also serves for tuberculosis testing and is assisting the province in its TB response alongside COVID-19.
Lab technicians and clinical managers at the provincial hospital and throughout the districts have expressed deep thanks and relief at having enhanced testing capacity. With Mozambique’s vaccine campaign underway, made possible through a combination of bilateral support from China and India and multilateral support through COVAX, health workers have now received vaccinations and are better equipped to respond to patient needs. Being able to test complements the vaccination progress in improving COVID-19 surveillance overall.