CAR / COVID-19 TESTING DEVICE DONATION

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13-May-2020 00:03:34
The Rwanda Contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, known under its French acronym MINUSCA, has donated a USD 200,000-worth COVID-19 screening device to the National Biology Laboratory. The machine will accelerate the testing of suspected cases of infection. MINUSCA

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STORY: CAR / COVID-19 TESTING DEVICE DONATION
TRT: 3:35
SOURCE: MINUSCA
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: FRENCH /ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 4 MAY 2020, BANGUI, CAR

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, MINUSCA's Rwandan contingent headquarter
2. Wide shot, flags of CAR, Rwanda and the UN
3. Various shots, Rwandan contingent medical clinic
4. Various shots, a Rwandan soldier takes the temperature of a visitor
5. Various shots, quarantine spaces
6. Various shots, COVID 19 testing
7. Various shots, National Biology Laboratory
8. SOUNDBITE (English), Colonel Joseph Safari, Commander of the Rwandan contingent, MINUSCA:
“Now, we have also established a collaboration to assist the locals. We are now coming from the National Biology Laboratory, where they have set up our machine to help test the locals. Because our mission here is first of all the protection of civilians".
9. Various shots, testing machine in the National Biology Laboratory
10. SOUNDBITE (French) Dr Clotaire Donatien Rafaï, Director of the National Biology Laboratory:
"The help provided by the Rwandan government has been a success. It allowed us to start the tests, starting first with staff from the clinical biology and public health laboratory, as well as MINUSCA staff. Then, we were authorized, last Thursday to carry out the large-scale diagnosis. We have already carried out 293 tests, including six positive, and the rest negative"
11. Various shots, testing machine in the National Biology Laboratory
12. SOUNDBITE (French), Christelle Bobossi, Chief of the Molecular Biology Unit:
"When it comes to diagnosing the virus, it's something we used to do. But especially for the coronavirus, as it is a respiratory virus, which is transmitted in the air, the most important for me is the protection, the barrier rules: to wash the hands, to wear the masks. I think that is what's new in everything we've started to do".
13. Wide shot, a visitor enters the National Biology Laboratory
14. Various shots, stock of equipment received by the National Biology Laboratory
15. Wide shot, a doctor leaves the National Biology Laboratory

STORYLINE:

The Rwanda Contingent of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, known under its French acronym MINUSCA, has donated a USD 200,000-worth COVID-19 screening device to the National Biology Laboratory. The machine will accelerate the testing of suspected cases of infection.

In capital Bangui, at the headquarters of the Rwandan UN peacekeeping contingent, a medical clinic was operational since 27 February. With the spread of the coronavirus in the Central African Republic, this space has been redesigned to make an effective contribution on the fight against the pandemic. In addition to applying necessary preventive measures such as regular hand washing and temperature taking, the clinic has set up quarantine areas for officers returning from abroad or having been in close contact with contaminated people.

“Now, we have also established a collaboration to also assist the locals. We are now coming from the National Biology Laboratory, where they have set up a machine to help test the locals. Because our mission here is first of all the protection of civilians", said Colonel Joseph Safari, Commander of the Rwandan contingent.

The equipment was handed over to the National Biology Laboratory of Bangui on 17 April 2020. It will help ramp up the CAR Ministry of Health's efforts to identify infected people and stop the spread of the virus, thus saving lives. Valued at approximately USD 200,000 – this machine is used for molecular diagnosis of COVID-19. The process involves the testing of oral swabs to confirm infection with the coronavirus disease.

Support from the Government of the Republic of Rwanda also included the training of 14 laboratory technicians (12 men and two women) with a background in molecular biology on the use of the device and the provision of personal protective equipment.

"The help provided by the Rwandan government has been a success. It allowed us to start the tests, starting first with staff from the clinical biology and public health laboratory, as well as MINUSCA staff. Then, we were authorized, last Thursday to carry out the large-scale diagnosis. We have already carried out 293 tests, including 6 positive and the rest negative," specified Dr Clotaire Donatien Rafaï, director of the National Biology Laboratory.

Suspected cases of infection are referred to the CAR Ministry of Health, which sends test samples to the laboratory. The trained laboratory technicians are also sent out to take samples of people with COVID-19 symptoms. Samples are now being brought into the laboratory for testing from across the country. Testing is free of charge.

"When it comes to diagnosing the virus, it's something we used to do. But especially for the coronavirus, as it is a respiratory virus, which is transmitted in the air, the most important for me is the protection, the barrier rules: to wash the hands, to wear the masks. I think that is what's new in everything we've started to do," says Christelle Bobossi, Chief of the Molecular Biology Unit.

The equipment will, furthermore, boost the laboratory's capacity to conduct research, and train other health personnel. Together with the French-supported Institute Pasteur in Bangui, the National Biology Laboratory now constitutes one of only two diagnostic institutions with the capacity to conduct COVID-19 testing in the Central African Republic, thanks to this donation.
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MINUSCA
Alternate Title
unifeed200513a
Asset ID
2544953