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New HIV viral load machine "SAMBA II"

Ministry of Health and Child Care Permanent Secretary Brigadier General Dr Gerald Gwinji commended the SAMBA organization for training lab technicians on how to use the new point of care HIV viral load machines.


"We are grateful of this initiative because in the past people used to get their results after 4 to 6 weeks but with this new machine results will be instantly," he said.

This new transformative point-of-care diagnostic which gives instant results for the detection of genetic material from the HIV virus is being rolled out across Africa and Zimbabwe is the first country in which it has been rolled out.

He said previously they used to do several tests that took a long time before someone is treated and by the time one would find results and the treating process starts one would have deteriorated so this is a great initiative.

SAMBA Director Prof Helen Lee said Zimbabwe is the first country to receive the new viral load machines.

Ministry of Health and Child Care AIDS and TB Director Dr Owen Mungurungi commended SAMBA for their commitment.

"This helps to have complete treatment and saves people to travel long distances repeatedly to inquire their results," he said.

One of the participants said the SAMBA II machine is easy to use, efficient, economic and convenient.

The small, highly portable machine - known as SAMBA II - will help transform the lives of millions, especially HIV exposed infants who have a one in two chance of early death if HIV infection is not diagnosed within the first six weeks of life and if they are not immediately initiated on treatment.

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