The Ministry of Health (MoH) through its Department of Laboratory Services yesterday held the foundation-laying ceremony for the building of the National Isolation Centre Laboratory for the National Tuberculosis (TB) and Virology Reference Laboratory Services in the Tutong District.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad Isham bin Haji Jaafar was the guest of honour.
Also present were Legislative Council members Yang Berhormat Haji Umarali bin Esung and Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Wahab bin Apong in his capacity as the Penghulu of Mukim Tanjong Maya, Permanent Secretary at the MoH Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the MoH Dr Haji Zulaidi bin Haji Abdul Latif, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Management) at the MoH Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin, and Tutong District Officer Shamsul Bahrin bin Haji Mohd Hussain.
The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah followed by the foundation-laying ceremony and a tour of the exhibition.
The objectives of the National Isolation Centre Laboratory are to implement the International Health Regulation and the Ministry of Health policy in strengthening the core capabilities of public health which is in line with the 2007-2017 Strategies and Direction, Policy Directions Numbers 24, 49 and 50 through the titah of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in the years 2003, 2005 and 2007.
It also aims to comply with the World Health Organization (WHO) policy in conducting laboratory
tests to identify Mycobacterium Tuberculosis involving the implementation of these tests in the ‘Biosafety Level 3’ (BSL3) containment laboratory; as a preparation of the Department of Laboratory Services in handling public health emergencies of international concern for infectious diseases such as Disease X by performing pre-analysis procedures before being sent to the International Reference Laboratory for verification tests; and to ensure a safe working environment for laboratory personnel and to prevent the occurrence of infection of germs such as the TB disease.
With the existence of a recognised BSL3 containment laboratory and the implementation of laboratory tests in compliance with international standards, it will support the MoH’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023, in particular, initiatives under the Strategic Goals 1 and 3, to establish the Centre of Excellence for Clinical Laboratories that support public health and safety in Brunei Darussalam.