New look: Infectious Disease Institute Refurbished MUST Microbiology Laboratory

The Infectious Disease Institute (IDI)-Global Health Security (GHS) Programme with funding from the UK Department of Health and Social Care and Mott Macdonald under the Fleming Fund grants programme has handed over Microbiology equipment and a fully refurbished Microbiology laboratory to the Faculty of Medicine-MUST.

R-L Dr. Joseph Ngonzi, Prof. Joel Bazira (white coat) receiving the DMM renovation plan from Dr. Mohammed Lamorde of IDI (extreme left)

Prof Joel Bazira, The Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology said the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Laboratory will assist in providing diagnostic microbiology services for improved patient care. With the addition of workstations, storage units, air conditioning, a general facelift, a biosafety cabinet, a laboratory refrigerator, an incubator 405L, a bacticinerator, a turbidity meter, and a magnetic stirrer, the lab has been upgraded to Biosafety Level II.

The refurbished laboratory was officially handed over to MUST on January 23, 2023, in the presence of Dr. Joseph Ngonzi, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (FoM), his Deputy Dr. Jonans Tusiimire,  Prof. Joel Bazira, HOD Microbiology, and other staff from the FoM.  This was done by Dr. Mohammed Lamorde Head of Department GHS/IDI.

Prof.Joel Bazira and the team inspecting the newly procured incubator in the Microbiology Lab

Prof Joel Bazira, Head of the Department of Medical Microbiology (DMM) at MUST thanked IDI for their support to MUST and the entire region of southwestern Uganda.  According to Prof. Joel, the department has been in operation since 1989 when this university was started with a laboratory that was below this standard. With a modern laboratory of this nature both MRRH and MUST will  provide qualitative and quantitative results as well as serve students, researchers and patients in the entire western region.

Dr. Jonathan Mayito giving his remarks.

Dr. Jonathan Mayito gave an overview of the project and what DMM-MUST has been able to do with the support of the Fleming fund. This included capacity building of the department human resource and establishment of the surveillance specialized units at MRRH, renovation of the laboratory room to match the modern laboratory standards. He mentioned that a total of 9484 samples have so far been tested in the refurbished laboratory. According to Dr. Jonathan, IDI aims at strengthening national microbiology and antimicrobial resistance surveillance capacity.

Prof. Bazira explained the use of the newly installed machines in the microbiology department

The Dean FoM, Dr. Joseph Ngonzi thanked IDI for choosing MUST/ MRRH. “Such a laboratory will make MUST stand out in the region in areas of teaching and research and using modern technology”. Said, Dr. Joseph.

‘’As an alumnus of MUST who went through the same lab, I know how it was but it has now been transformed. With the improvement in this lab facility, there will be an increase in the outputs, especially in the research area.  As Faculty of Medicine, we thank you for the support and we are ready to achieve more with you,’’ Dr. Ngonzi appreciated.