For Immediate Release

Press Release

Public Affairs Section
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Email: EricksonLC@state.gov

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated laboratory equipment and supplies to the Ministry of Health to upgrade a gene-sequencing facility within the National Health Laboratory. The facility, the first public sector facility in Maldives to conduct gene sequencing of COVID-19, will help to detect different strains of the virus and respond accordingly. Speaking at the handover ceremony, Director of the USAID Sri Lanka/Maldives Office of  Governance and Vulnerable Populations, Kevin Dean said “Today marks progress in the fight against COVID-19. One hundred different essential laboratory equipment and supplies have been provided to the National Health Laboratory. The gene-sequencing facility is fully equipped and ready for service. USAID-supported experts from EpiC and the World Health Organization will train the laboratory personnel in molecular diagnostics and genotyping of COVID-19, and mentor them in gene sequencing.”

The facility can be expanded in the future to conduct molecular diagnostics and gene sequencing for other emerging pathogen-based pandemics in Maldives. USAID has also supported the Ministry of Health in procuring 1.5 million units of gloves for infection and prevention control among health care workers in Maldives. 

Since the pandemic first broke out in March 2020, USAID has provided more than 639,990 doses of safe and effective Pfizer BioNTech vaccines and emergency supplies including pulse oximeters and vital personal protective equipment to Maldives. These donations, along with more than $7 million in COVID-19 assistance, plus a donation of 60 ventilators, provided life-saving treatment, strengthened clinical care, mobilized critical supplies to strengthen the response, and helped expand social protection services.

World Health Organization Kevin Dean #COVID19
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