S.R.O.S boosts testing powers

The testing capabilities of the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa to detect COVID-19 and animal diseases such as African swine fever have been given a major boost courtesy of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The F.A.O Subregional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands, Xiangjun Yao, witnessed the presentation of equipment to help local authorities detect the coronavirus as well as zoonotic diseases such as the African swine fever.

The fever is a highly contagious viral disease in domestic pigs and wild boar which currently has no effective treatment.

Ms Yao represented Liang Qu, who is the Director of Joint IAEA/F.A.O. office in Vienna and F.A.O. 

“F.A.O. recognizes that research for development is fundamental to boost food security which and agriculture development is an important F.A.O. mandate," she said.

Caretaker Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries who also has portfolio responsibilities for the S.R.O.S., Lopao’o Natanielu Mu’a received the assistance that was handed over by the arm of the United Nations.

The Government of Samoa had submitted a request under the Interregional Technical Cooperation Project on ‘strengthening capabilities of member states in building, strengthening and restoring capacities and services in case of outbreaks, emergencies and disasters’, the financial aid has made possible, the procurement of several state-of-the-art bio-molecular diagnostic and research equipment as well as much needed laboratory consumables. 

The instruments were procured by the IAEA from Eurofins Genomics (Austria), Biozym Scientific (Germany), ESCO MICRO Pte Ltd (Singapore) and Fleischhacker GmbH & Co. (Germany). 

Further technical support for detection of SARS-CoV-2 and control of zoonotic disease in the future will be provided by the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture under the coordination of FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands in Apia.

The Government of Samoa also acknowledged the I.A.E.A, F.A.O and major donors of IAEA Member States the Government of the USA for the support in strengthening the country’s response to COVID-19 through S.R.O.S.

An email has been sent by the Samoa Observer to the Chief Executive Officer of S.R.O.S for a comment.

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