Immediate priorities include streamlining processes to prevent delays, including case identification, sample collection, and transportation of samples to laboratories. Currently, Sudan has some of the lowest testing capacity in the region.
Currently laboratories have the capacity to test 800 samples per day—exceeding the original goal of 600 tests per day. Samples are processed between 24-48 hours, and transportation does not take more than six hours on average.
The COVID-19 laboratory network has four functioning laboratories: the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Khartoum, the Red Sea Central Laboratory, the Blue Nile Institute in El Gezira and the Darfur Centre for Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases in Nyala (South Darfur)—which is the first laboratory with the capacity to test COVID-19 in Darfur.
Testing capacity has increased significantly since the first case was declared in March—however, overall capacity remains low. This limits the ability of health sector partners to estimate the extent of latent and asymptomatic cases.
Although the capacity of the labs has increased, the collection of samples and transportation to the lab for processing is causing delays in confirming cases.