New Molecular Unit Installed at POM General Hospital

The Central Public Health Laboratory atthe Port Moresby General Hospital opened its new Molecular Unit yesterday.


The Molecular Unit comes with a new and advanced process for the diagnosis of HIV in children underthe age of two.

The new analyzer will help inthe National EarlyInfant Diagnosis Program as well asthe soon-to-be rolled out National Viral Load Program.


A new state ofthe art technology was also introduced. The Roche automated analyzer will assistthe monitoring of treatment in patients living with HIV.


“We are opening this molecular unit. This isthe latest technology inthe diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.In this country, more than twenty years ago, we’ve being diagnosing HIV with rapid tests which means that that’s evidence of HIV infection. This new technology is going to diagnosethe actual virus itself,” explained Dr. Evelyn Lavu, Manager, Central Public Health LabPMGH.

Dr. Mobumo KiromatoCountry Director ofthe Clinton Health AccessInitiative said one part oftheir program was to supportthe Laboratory.


She said when HIV came tPNG, testing in children less than 18 months old was a huge challenge because of many scientific and medical reasons.


Withthe massive number of tests reachingthe lab,the new analyzer will quickenthe HIV test results to people who require it. AndPNG can keep up withthe rest ofthe world in terms of laboratory efficiency.


“We’re not looking at trying to be in power with developed countries, but to bring quality tothe people of Papua New Guinea” said Dr. Kiromat.

Acting Secretary ofthe National Department of Health Dr. Paison Dakulala said after more than a decade of antiretroviral treatment,there was a need to pick up on technology.


This wouldthen determinethe sort of treatment and care given to patients, especially to infants.


“It helps us to understand whatthe enormity ofthe problem is,” said Dr. Dakulala

Dr. Evelyn Lavu encouraged individuals to takethe HIV test.


If tests return negative, she encouraged people to stay negative. Onthe ther hand if tested positive, she encouraged treatment and continued treatment.

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