Why are we so excited about shipping containers?

The new container laboratory under construction at SUA.

Can these containers lead to cutting edge disease diagnostics? We think so!

Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania, has an experienced veterinary faculty engaged in diverse and exciting animal health projects. Although the HALI field office is in Iringa, HALI team members are also busy at work on the SUA campus with our principal investigator, Professor Kazwala, analyzing field samples from wildlife and livestock. As part of the PREDICT project, we are looking for emerging infectious diseases that might “jump” from wildlife to people. Because many emerging diseases are caused by viruses, we need the space and the tools to run new tests, including real-time PCR. The double-decker container lab stands empty for the moment, but you can almost hear the hum of the freezers housing critical samples, see a generator standing ready in case of a power failure, and picture the amazing HALI laboratory team at work on advanced molecular tests.  While most shipping containers are moving cargo around the world, ours are providing a strong foundation for the future of viral disease diagnostics in Tanzania!

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