By Priscilla Maloba
The Ministry of Health has banned Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) paternity relationship testing centres from advertising their services.
According to the ministry, any DNA centre that will be found advertising its services will have its licence revoked.
“There should not be any form of advertising or promotion of a DNA sample collecting centre. Failure to comply will result in automatic cancellation of license,”the ministry said in a four-page document.
The ban, according to the ministry, applies to laboratories that collect samples and do paternity relationship testing as well as facilities that intend to do sample collection only and send samples for testing in another laboratory.
The ministry made the revelation last week during the national laboratory sector performance review meeting in Kampala. Speaking at the event, Dr Suzan Nabadda, the commissionerin-charge of laboratory services at the Ministry of Health, said the guidelines are meant to control the quality of DNA results.
“We want to control right from the person that collects the DNA sample and the considerations are in the level of capacity, the level of human resources, the documentation and the different standards of the facility going to carry out a DNA test, for example, you need to make sure you are using the right machines to do that test,”she said.
Dr Nabadda named three laboratories in the country that are accredited to do DNA testing as Government Analytical Laboratory, the Uganda Police Forensic laboratory in Naguru, and MBN Clinical Laboratory.