From an old shipping container to a crucial field lab!
All the way back in 2020, work began to install a brand new field lab at EWCP HQ in Dinsho, Bale Mountains National Park. A facility was sorely needed as a base of veterinary operations, to process and store samples, and conduct post-mortems. The project started with the arrival of a repurposed shipping container, freshly customised and kitted out at the Born Free Foundation’s Kotteh Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary near Addis, by a team headed by Bereket Girma.
With the container in place, the next steps to get it ready for use included the construction of a protective tin roof and connection to mains water, waste and electricity, plus a back-up to ensure a stable power supply. Once the hard physical work was accomplished, the efforts continued to relocate and sort biological samples, recording them in a central database.
Muktar Abute, EWCP veterinary team leader, and Dasha made a valiant effort to thoroughly process our catalogue of valuable long-term samples, used through the years to diagnose and study wildlife diseases like rabies and canine distemper.
Since early 2022, all vaccines and biological samples have been stored securely in the lab where two new fridges and stable electricity keep them cold or frozen as needed. The new field lab is a valuable resource to enhance the capacity of local vets to carry out post-mortem examinations, and learn to collect, prepare and preserve biological samples. We are also now able to do some analysis, testing the efficacy of Rapid Antigen kits in the early detection of rabies in-situ and cross-checking them with the diagnostics carried out by our partners in EPHI (Ethiopian Public Health Institute) and APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency, UK).
The new lab, along with the nearby meeting room and residential facilities, currently being refurbished by EWCP, will facilitate further training and teaching opportunities for the One Health community in Ethiopia.
This project was made possible by support from IUCN Save Our Species, co-funded by the European Union - thank you for your support!
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