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Assistance with COVID‑19 diagnostics: the German Biosecurity Programme in the Sudan

The Robert Koch Institute is training scientists from the Sudan in diagnostics.

The Robert Koch Institute is training scientists from the Sudan in diagnostics., © RKI

27.05.2020 - Article

The Federal Foreign Office is supporting partner countries via the German Biosecurity Programme. In the Sudan, the knowledge acquired in this context is also helping with the fight against COVID‑19.

Biosecurity as a key consideration in the COVID‑19 pandemic

Biological pathogens know no boundaries – a fact that is particularly evident in the current COVID‑19 pandemic. To prepare for biological emergencies and strengthen biosecurity abroad, the Federal Foreign Office has supported partners in nine countries and two supraregional projects via the German Biosecurity Programme since 2013.

The German Biosecurity Programme in the Sudan

The Robert Koch Institute is supplying diagnostics equipment to the Sudan
The Robert Koch Institute is supplying diagnostics equipment to the Sudan© RKI

The Sudan has been a priority country of the German Biosecurity Programme since the outset. The programme’s objectives include providing training in the detection and recognition of dangerous pathogens in the Sudan. The principal partners in Khartoum are the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) and the Central Laboratory (CL), which are playing a key role in combating the COVID‑19 pandemic in the Sudan by providing expertise to the Federal Ministry of Health.

Laboratory materials handed over to long-standing Sudanese partners

So‑called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) diagnostics are a method used to diagnose the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus that causes COVID‑19. This and other methods are key elements of the training courses that the Robert Koch Institute has conducted at the two partner institutes over the last few years as part of the German Biosecurity Programme. Test kits for PCR diagnostics have now been made available to support the two Sudanese partner institutions in the current crisis. The package, which was put together by the Robert Koch Institute, was handed over by the Embassy.

Long-term commitment to the prevention and control of biological security risks

In addition, further partner countries are currently being supported in the fight against COVID‑19 within the framework of the German Biosecurity Programme. The aim is not only to improve the situation in the short term, but also to make a long-term contribution to strengthening biosecurity in the partner countries.

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