Rwanda signed a financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the construction of the National Health Referral Laboratory, a statement issued in Kigali on Tuesday revealed.The statement said that the agreement will see RBC receive 22 million Euros from the EIB and an additional 5.1 million Euros from the European Union through the World Health Organization (WHO) as an implementing partner.
In July 2020, the government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning submitted a financing request to the EIB for the construction and equipping of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) in line with EIB emergency response and preparedness initiative.
According to Health minister Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the “Rwanda Covid-19 health resilient project intends to finance the construction and equipment of a building which will integrate four divisions.”
The four divisions, according to the senior government official, include medical technology, the national centre for blood transfusion, the national reference lab, and the research, innovation and data science division.
It is expected that the fund will be allocated to build a state of the art facility in Kigali as part of the national plan for integrated pandemic requirements and Covid-19 response.
“The project can potentially include early intervention from the Covid-19 response plan as discussed and agreed with the bank. The NHLS building will meet international standards for a reference laboratory with biosafety level 2 requirements,” Dr Ngamije said.
Dr. Brian Clever Chirombo, the WHO representative to Rwanda said this initiative is part of mechanisms to strengthen the capacity of countries and the world to respond to pandemics, particularly to prepare for those in the future.
“Rwanda has made major progress in not only the area of health but also the responsiveness to the Covid-19 response. There is about a strategy of the country in terms of human capacity development and infrastructure development,” he said.