Department of Health Undersecretary Dr. Nestor F. Santiago, the Team Leader for the COVID-19 Laboratory Network, identified CLMMRH Molecular Laboratory as one of the twenty-two (22) molecular laboratories nationwide to be activated for Monkeypox testing.

In his Department Memorandum 0521 S. 2022, Dr. Santiago found the opportunity, through the declaration of Monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), to leverage the laboratory network’s capacity to expand testing services as a response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Guided by the Department Memorandum 2022-0414 on the Interim Guidelines in the Regulation of Laboratories Conducting Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests for Monkeypox in Response to Public Health Emergency, here are the criteria that qualified CLMMRH as one of the two (2) in Region VI, and the only molecular laboratory in the island of Negros:

1. Compatibility of existing equipment with available laboratory reagents.

2. Official readiness assessment results and completion of RITM training.

3. Laboratory performance score of more than or equal to 90% based on accomplished Capabilities Self Assessment Survey.

4. Strong governance support at the regional, local, and facility levels.

5. Strategic access to target population.

6. Strategic prioritization and recommendation by DOH Offices such as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), Office for Health Laboratories (OHL), Epidemiology Bureau (EB) and Field Implementation and Coordination Team – NCR and Luzon.

Update on the availability of the Monkeypox testing at the CLMMRH Molecular Laboratory will be announced soon.