The Department of Health (DOH), through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), is establishing seven subnational laboratories (SNL) for the detection of vaccine-preventable diseases in the country.
The seven regional health facilities tagged as SNLs are Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, Western Visayas Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center and Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.
The WHO provided over P36 million worth of laboratory equipment and supplies to make the SNLs fully operational. WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said it was crucial for the country to prepare its health system in the prevention and control of outbreaks of other diseases, aside from COVID-19.
The RITM is setting up essential equipment and will train staff at the SNLs in the coming months.
The health agency also said that it would establish quality control and assurance measures in preparation for WHO laboratory accreditation. —TINA G. SANTOS
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