BUTUAN CITY – As part of its initiative to aid in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing in the Caraga region, the Department of Sciences and Technology (DOST) in Caraga-Region 13 has installed two top-of-the-line equipment at the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (MDL) of Butuan Medical Center (BMC).
Top regional officials of DOST 13, led by Regional Director Dominga D. Mallonga, witnessed the installation of the MDL at BMC together with top officials of the hospital on Tuesday, July 7.
The city government of Butuan received one real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) equipment and one biological safety cabinet level II.
The RT-PCR device will help detect and confirm the presence of the corona virus in samples.
The biological safety cabinet is a containment device that helps prepare samples while protecting analysts and the environment from contamination and infection.
The objective of the establishment of the MDL at BMC was to aid faster detection of COVID-19 cases in Caraga region, and as the leading laboratory and testing center catering to the health needs of the people in the region under the new normal.
The project will also roll-out the locally developed GenAmplify Detection Kits. The test kit was the first to be locally manufactured in the Philippines for COVID-19 testing.
It was developed by Dr. Raul Destura of the Manila HealthTek, Inc., in collaboration with the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), with the funding support from DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has certified the use of the kits while the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) issued a go signal to start the roll-out of the kits to hospitals.
The project costs a total of P 3.9 million.
This effort also aims to support in the epidemiological surveillance of COVID-19 cases in Caraga region and achieve shorter turnaround time in acquiring results.
The project is a collaboration between DOST-Caraga, the city government of Butuan, Department of Health-Caraga, and the Caraga Health Research and Development Consortium (CHRDC).