Jane Ruth Aceng the Minister of Health has cautioned Ugandans not to use rapid DNA kits for testing themselves because they will get the wrong results.
According to Aceng, they have information that some unscrupulous agents might have smuggled fake kits for DNA testing into the country and are currently taking advantage of the ongoing situation.
“These Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RTDs) are not validated for use in Uganda and therefore not allowed into the country, whether for use in the public or in the private sector,” Aceng highlighted.
“The Ministry will continue to provide standards and regulatory oversight necessary to ensure that all laboratory processes guarantee quality and reliability of laboratory test results” she added.
The Minister made these remarks while issuing her statement on DNA testing in Uganda at the Ministry headquarters on Monday.
For several weeks now, the issue of DNA has been a concern amongst the public and a reasonable number of men have turned to it to test for paternity cases.
Whereas this issue is continuing to make rounds, the public also continues to question the validity and integrity of DNA paternity testing results, the credibility of the persons and laboratories conducting the tests.
In this briefing, Aceng also noted that lately there are two main laboratories in the country that have been certified and accredited to run DNA paternity testing both nationally and internationally.
The Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL) in Wandegeya, and MBN Clinical Laboratories on Nakasero Road are the only two accredited but several other laboratories like the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) are also certified to do DNA testing for diagnostic and research purposes.
The Ministry also noted that it’s aware of several laboratories that have come out purporting to do DNA paternity testing whereas they only collect samples and ship them for testing elsewhere, either within or outside the country.
In their guidance, the Ministry highlighted that effective Monday, no laboratory and facility shall ship any samples for DNA paternity testing outside the country except with special clearance from the Director General of Health Services or the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.
“Any laboratory that is prepared and wants to do DNA paternity testing can apply to the Director General of Health Services who will set up a team of experts to assess the laboratory for certification” it added.
The Ministry of Health also cautioned both the traditional and social media players to report about DNA paternity responsibly to avoid the negative impact on the mental health of children, families, and society at large.