The University of Zambia (UNZA) through the School of Veterinary Medicine has mobilised from its partners and stakeholders about USD 241, 800 worth of equipment towards the fight against COVID-19.

Among the equipment donated include testing reagents, laboratory consumables, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and provision of surveillance capacities for emerging infectious diseases including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of the total mobilised funds, USD 41, 500 was donated to the Ministry of Health (MOH) on 21 April 2020, by UNZA Vice-Chancellor Prof. Luke Evuta Mumba.

Prof. Mumba stated that the donation is in the form of laboratory reagents and consumables that will be used for COVID-19 testing and an additional USD 70, 000 has been committed for diagnostic testing.

He said the bigger allocation of the total funds amounting to USD 110, 000 will go to the provision of robust research and surveillance of emerging infectious diseases particularly the Coronavirus in the country.

Prof. Mumba added that this will be done through the Africa Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of the Human and Animal (ACEIDHA) programme housed in the school of Veterinary Medicine that will work and test infectious pathogens that cause serious diseases such as COVID-19.

The University through its technical teams in schools and faculties is working around the clock with various stakeholders to support an expanded response to COVID-19 by addressing various facets of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, UNZA Head of Communications and Marketing Dr Brenda Bukowa said in a press release that the University is proud of its researchers and technocrats that are part of the body of expertise shaping the country’s response through various contributions especially through COVID-19 Health Promotion through Numerous platforms such as media.

She said UNZA is committed to conducting and disseminating research findings with relevant wings of government, the private sector industry, NGOs and the general public.

She noted that UNZA being the first and largest university in the country continues to lead in the provision of excellence through teaching and learning, research and community services.