SIBU: The Covid-19 test can now be carried out at the SEGi-DUKE-Clinical Research (SEGi-DUKE-CRC) lab in Sibu Hospital instead of sending the blood samples to Kuching after receiving the green light from the Ministry of Health.
This was made possible after a local company had donated a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine to the lab on March 26. With the extra machine, the lab can now process more samples at a much shorter time.
The SEGi-DUKE-CRC lab, established in 2017, is a clinical research facility that was set up as a result of a tripartite venture between SEGi University, DUKE University and Sibu Hospital. Located within the Sibu Clinical Campus, the centre is focused on the study of virus and has published several papers on the lab output.
SEGi’s Faculty of Medicine Dean, Prof Dr. Mohd Raili Suhaili said that the Ministry of Health has authorised the lab to conduct Covid-19 test as it is well-equipped and has qualified staff to run the test.
“Our Science Officer cum Lecturer, Miss Jakie Ting along with a staff from the Pathology Department of Sibu Hospital had started running tests since March 29. The Sarawak State Government also sponsored the testing kits and reagents for us to carry out the Covid-19 test,” said Prof Dr. Raili Suhaili
He said with the PCR machine and adequate supply of testing kits, the hospital can shorten the test turnaround time and save cost as they can manage the testing in the lab facility and produce results within 24 hours.
The PCR machine is generally used to amplify small segments of the DNA to detect bacteria, viruses or genetic disorders.
“Being able to provide clinical services is a big honour for us, especially in such critical times. The Covid-19 outbreak has caused unprecedented disruptions to every aspect of our lives and we are glad that SEGi University can do its part for the country,’ said Prof Dr. Raili.
The Sibu Clinical Campus has been instrumental in providing clinical training to SEGi MBBS students from their third year of study. The comprehensive setting is crucial for students to master various clinical clerkships in the field of internal medicine, surgery and critical care, paediatrics and neonatology, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics and emergency, community-based medicine, psychiatry, rehabilitative and palliative care as well as other specialties such as ophthalmology, otolaryngology, anaesthesiology and forensic medicine.
“We believe it is important to train our students on crisis preparedness and intervention as it is not only important for them to have relevant technical skills and knowledge but also to be physically, mentally and emotionally ready to face any form of crisis when they need arises,” added Prof Dr. Raili.
Prof Dr. Raili Suhaili: The Covid-19 outbreak has caused unprecedented disruptions to every aspect of our lives and we are glad that SEGi University can do its part for the country.
Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, Sarawak Yang Berhormat Dr Annuar Rapaee (fourth from left) hands over the PCR Machine to Sibu Hospital Director Dr Muhammad Ng Siah Huat. With them are (from left) Sibu Divisional Health Officer Dr Teh Jo Hun, Prof Dr. Raili, and Sibu CRC Director Prof Dr Toh Teck Hock.
The PCR machine amplifies small segments of the DNA to detect bacteria, viruses or genetic disorders.