Karonga to Have a Molecular Testing Laboratory

By Andrew Mkonda

Karonga, January 21, Mana: Karonga Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), David Sibale has disclosed that Karonga District will soon have a molecular testing laboratory that will carter for a wider scope of work including testing for Covid-19.

Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Sibale said the laboratory that will be installed in old Karonga District Hospital buildings will also have the capacity to detect Human Papilloma Virus which causes cancer of the cervix.

“This will be a modern laboratory in the district and all the services will be free unless government advises otherwise in future. People will even be able to test for hepatitis, tuberculosis and also conduct DNA (paternity test to determine the father of a child) in future,” said Sibale.

Sibale said the laboratory that is expected to be completed in four weeks time has been donated by Abbot Diagnostics Company through Thofu Investments which is a local supplier for Abbot Diagnostics products in Malawi.

Meanwhile, the University of Maryland Bartimore with support from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) has expressed interest in the project.

Speaking in a separate interview, Chairperson for Karonga District Council, Councilor Steve Simsokwe said the laboratory has been established at the right time when the district is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Simsokwe further said the laboratory will also save time and resources as Chitipa and Karonga district hospitals spend a lot of resources on sending specimen to either Mzuzu, or Lilongwe and even Blantyre.

“This is a welcome development. As you may be aware, Karonga is growing fast in all aspects of life, so we need such type of facilities in the district,” said Simsokwe.