In response to the global COVID-19 threat, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) recently donated 1,000 coronavirus tests to the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health (MOH). The donation was made in conjunction with practical training provided by experts from DTRA’s prime contractor in Tashkent, TMC Global Professional Services (TMC).
The training took a stepwise approach to increase the testing capacity of the MOH diagnostic laboratories. The first step entailed refreshing the skills of 5 experienced MOH professionals, who were then able to train 17 laboratory specialists on the PCR technique, which is the only WHO-recommended method for the novel coronavirus detection. The training began on April 7, 2020, at the Tashkent Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education (TIPME) and then widened to include the Republican Center for the Prevention of Plague, Quarantine, and Most Hazardous Infections Laboratory (CPPQMHI) in Tashkent, Bukhara, and Nukus. After two weeks of mentorship by TMC, a total of 22 MOH laboratory specialists (including 8 trainers) were qualified and are currently performing COVID-19 testing at their laboratories.
Dr. Dildora Sekler (left) of TMC provides training to CPPQMHI laboratory personnel in Uzbekistan related to viral sample testing of extremely dangerous pathogens.
The hands-on training offered by TMC’s experts is a continuation of a long-term program to enhance the capacity of Uzbek laboratories to identify numerous infectious diseases. The diagnostic procedure used in the current training aims to detect the presence of the novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) using a state-of-the-art technique that is comparable to the COVID-19 testing performed worldwide. The ability to make this technique available throughout Uzbekistan is possible due to an innovative video system, provided by DTRA, which allows trainers based in Tashkent to mentor specialists in areas where on-site training has traditionally been more challenging. As a result, the TIPME and TMC trainers were able to engage laboratory workers as far away as Bukhara and Nukus.
“On behalf of the leadership of the Republican CPPQMHI and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency for their support and timely assistance in provision of test systems for laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19. We would also like to thank specialists of TMC who are involved in the implementation of DTRA’s Biological Threat Reduction Program in Uzbekistan, for conducting trainings on COVID-19 laboratory diagnostics with the PCR method for personnel of medical institutions of the Republic of Uzbekistan. We look forward to successful future cooperation with DTRA.” (Dr. Saidmurod Saydaliev, Director of CPPQMHI, MoH)
The current COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of having well-trained MOH laboratory personnel available to respond rapidly to public health threats. The ongoing cooperation between the MOH and DTRA supports the crucial role that MOH’s diagnostic laboratories play in assuring public safety by delivering accurate test results promptly.
TMC Global Professional Services (TMC) is an international capacity building, bioscience/biomedical research, construction management and logistics company with strong historical roots in Central Asia and the Former Soviet Union. TMC executes solutions that mitigate risk for our customers by planning and implementing global threat-reducing security measures of international importance in challenging and dynamic global environments. We are headquartered in Albuquerque, NM with global operational management in Leesburg, VA and have over 20 years of experience supporting both government and commercial clients in over 80 countries.