Uganda acquires modern lab device for infectious disease management

UGANDA – Kiruddu General Referral Hospital in Uganda has secured a state-of-the-art laboratory equipment known as the VITEK 2 machine from Germany used for regional disease surveillance in an effort to effectively address emerging infectious diseases.

The adoption of the first of its kind VITEK 2 machine at the governmental facility will advance access to accurate testing for infectious diseases and appropriate diagnosis in terms of what infection the patient presents with for health workers to administer timely treatment.

The laboratory devices come at a time when comprehensive testing strategies and access to innovative diagnostic tools are crucial in managing the wide variety of infectious diseases especially identifying, monitoring and determining the best treatment options as well as predicting treatment responses.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

The VITEK machine tests for drugs through non-manual techniques where as soon as the lab technician identifies the organisms, the machine is able to continue processing the identification and give the sensitivity result whether the organism is resistant to specific drugs or it is able to be killed by the drug.

The machine gives appropriate diagnosis in terms of what infection the patient presents with and the health workers are able to institute timely treatment reducing the turnaround time of the patients to get results compared to previously used manual methods.


According to multinational healthcare company Roche, advances in automation, test design and analytics allow for early identification of infection and initiation of appropriate treatment which can limit transmission while reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

The availability of the VITEK 2 machine at Kiruddu Hospital will improve diagnostics and patient outcomes as well as support the Ugandan government efforts to combat the burden of infectious disease across the country.

Executive Director of Kiruddu Hospital Dr Charles Kabugo warned that Uganda is facing an increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDCs) and advised people to limit the use of antibiotics since when they abuse pharmaceuticals, they may get resistance to the drug.

While infectious communicable diseases still contribute the major disease burden with malaria, acute respiratory infections and HIV/AIDS among the top 10 causes of illness and death, the burden of NCDs is increasingly posing a threat of dual epidemics of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Dr Charles Kabugo pointed out that infections and resistance to antibiotics are a global public health problem, observing that misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

AMR is driving up the number of infections that are difficult to treat with devastating consequences for those directly affected and for the global health. If we fight it together by developing solutions together, it will benefit all countries around the world,’’ Charles Kabugo added.

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