By: Juan Reyes
In today’s interconnected world, a disease emerging in any part of the world can potentially become a health threat in the U.S., in the Dominican Republic or anywhere else. Infectious diseases, such as the novel coronavirus disease or, better known as COVID-19, know no borders nor boundaries. For this reason, CDC works globally around the clock to protect people from disease threats and save lives. Through global programs and partnerships, CDC engages foreign governments to help address their health challenges which in turn supports the wellbeing of host countries and the American people.
CDC programs are run by global experts in epidemiology, surveillance, informatics, laboratory systems, among other essential disciplines and provide robust global health leadership capacity. Besides conducting essential training programs in the Dominican Republic, CDC has also donated refrigerators, freezers, test swabs, means of transportation, primers, probes, and other materials, such as laboratory equipment and machines. Such supplies and laboratory equipment can be vital in the diagnosis of disease pathogens, such as this novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
For example, the National Public Health Laboratory Dr. Defilló (Laboratorio Nacional de Salud Publica Dr. Defilló), has received real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory equipment from CDC, which is used in detecting the COVID-19 virus. This PCR equipment is used to “amplify” small sections of DNA or RNA when running a test for COVID-19.
It is important to note that the real-time PCR laboratory equipment that has been donated by CDC to the Dominican Republic not only helps in the detection of the COVID-19 virus, but also in the detection of all other types of pathogens, such as Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. Laboratory equipment helps strengthen critical public health services around the world and in countries like the United States and the Dominican Republic.