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Media Statement
22 September 2020
For Immediate Release

The Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University is pleased to announce that the World Health Organization has designated the SMU Virology Department as a WHO Collaborating centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research and Surveillance.

Amongst the tasks to be undertaken at the centre include:

  • Conducting molecular characterization of randomly selected samples collected through the expanded rotavirus/enteropathogens surveillance network from Eastern and Southern African (ESA) countries using Taqman Array Cards (TAC) and qPCR.
  • Conduct genotyping of specimens from 15 participating countries and provide data to these countries diarrhea causing vaccine preventable pathogens.
  • Conduct on site assessment of laboratories to ensure compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) including External Quality Assurance (EQA) and Quality Control (QC).
  • Organize capacity building and training workshops on serological and molecular testing of priority enteropathogens.

“We welcome this global recognition of SMU by the World Health Organization. This will go a long way in bolstering our research efforts as an institution and we commit to uphold the WHO standards as expected”, said SMU DVC for Research, Postgraduate studies and innovation Professor Lekan Ayo-Yusuf.

The centre will be headed by Professor Mapaseka Seheri.

As a newly established health sciences university, SMU continues to make significant strides in the fields of Research and innovation. The university also boasts top National Research Foundation (NRF) researchers and academics.

Issued by the Marketing & Communication
For more details, please contact Dr Eric Pule, email address eric.pule@smu.ac.za
Phone 012 521 4563 Cell: 0635035587
Website: www.smu.ac.za