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United States Ambassador to Liberia Michael McCarthy says Liberia needs effective disease detection and surveillance to quickly identify infectious diseases when they occur and monitor the development of an outbreak in the country.
He says the surest way to counter potential epidemics or pandemics is to stop an outbreak where it starts, stressing that to do this, detection and surveillance are the keys to effectively prevent, respond and contain infectious diseases.
Ambassador McCarthy spokes when he handed over COVID-19 laboratory testing supplies to the Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, on behalf of United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to the Embassy of the United States near Monrovia.
The Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance project, through funding from USAID, is supporting the Government of Liberia to accelerate COVID-19 detection efforts by supplying PCR testing commodities. The PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19, because it’s the most accurate and reliable test.
The embassy says the donation includes 2,000 specimen collection swabs, extraction reagents for the automated and manual system for 4,000 tests, PCR master-mix, PCR calibration and reaction plates, and dried swab pre-treatment buffer to enable detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19.
The donation will enable the National Public Health Reference Laboratory to efficiently respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our collective task is to ensure that Liberia continues to be a safe travel destination that responds timely and effectively to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. The United States through USAID’s Global Health Security Agenda will continue to be your strong partner in this endeavor”, Ambassador McCarthy assures Liberia’s Minister of Health Doctor Wilhelmina Jallah on Thursday, March 11, 2021 during the ceremony.