A pilot Wastewater-Based CoVID-19 Surveillance (WWBS) program is officially launched
The WWBS program was launched at the presence of the Deputy Director General of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) representatives, and a Technical Working Group comprising of experts from different government sectors and partner organizations.
Dr. Getachew Tollera, in his introductory remarks stated that EPHI has successfully coordinated the COVID-19 response since the outbreak began. He also indicated that the newly introduced Wastewater-Based COVID-19 Surveillance is an important approach for early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community, and it supports the existing case-based surveillance program. He noted that this surveillance combined with clinical tests and epidemiology data for SARS-CoV-2 could track and identify the virus’s presence, geographic spread, and intensity of transmission at an early stage. Overall, it was stressed that such surveillance strategy, has a crucial role for effectively understanding of the COVID-19 disease burden and other epidemics in the community, the data generated could promote public health decision-making and action.
Dr. Yohannes Eshete, APHL’s representative, on his behalf said that the program is expected to build the laboratory testing and human capacity that supports the national COVID-19 surveillance efforts. Following the opening remarks, Project Investigators (Mr. Daniel Abera and Mr. Gebremedhin Gebremichael), presented the overall project plan and interactive discussion was made with invited participants.