Ebola labs operational in Sierra Leone and Liberia

This ordinary looking shipping container is in fact a high tech mobile lab, especially equipped to perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. This is the most accurate way to diagnose Ebola within a few days of the onset of symptoms and having a lab so close to an Ebola Management Centre saves precious hours in diagnosing the disease.

Jaqueline Schelfaut, Laboratory Technician: “Before the lab was opened here, the samples had to be taken to Monrovia and before the results came back it would take 24 hours. From now on we hope to get them in about six. So, it would speed things up.”

For some Ebola Management Centres, lab-facilities were missing. A couple of existing basic medical containers of Hospitainer were quickly transformed to biosafety laboratories, including pressurization systems, sluices, magnetic door-locks and biosafety cabinets.

Due to the modular approach, it was possible to produce three laboratories and two isolation units for patients within 1,5 weeks. These units were transported by ship to Sierra Leone and Liberia, where they are operational at the moment. In the video below, a microbiologist explains how the mobile Ebola Lab is being used in the field.