On Thursday, March 11, 2021, Ambassador Michael McCarthy 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).
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.
At the event, Ambassador McCarthy remarked, “The surest way to counter potential epidemics or pandemics is to stop an outbreak where it starts. To do this, Liberia needs effective disease detection and surveillance to quickly identify infectious diseases when they occur and monitor the development of an outbreak. Detection and surveillance are the keys to effectively prevent, respond and contain infectious diseases.”
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.
Ambassador McCarthy concluded the hand over by saying, “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.”