Since its establishment in 2012 and the subsequent commencement of its service in 2014, MRC-ET has been primarily engaged in providing genetic testing services. Our clients and/or patients, more than 1500 patients so far, came from leading teaching and referral hospitals (both public and private), higher and specialized OBGYN, Pediatric and Neurology clinics from all over Ethiopia. Our laboratory also provides basic and routine clinical tests in the areas of hematology, clinical chemistry, electrolyte analysis, and microbiology. More detailed information about the laboratory and the services it provides are available at our website www.mrc-et.com
Besides providing diagnostic services we avail our facility and expertise for research and apprenticeship to researchers and students coming from universities and teaching hospitals in the country. We have participated in research endeavors that pertain towards the completion of masters and Ph.D. theses. A research proposal, developed in cooperation with Addis Ababa University (AAU) Medical faculty, on developing an RT-PCR based malaria assay has got the acceptance of the ethics committee and proceeding with success. Another proposal on lactose intolerance diagnosis using DNA based method is in progress and the preliminary study is already completed by our partner MRC-Holland. The validation experiments will be carried out at the MRC-ET facility in collaboration with Myunsung Christian Medical College aka the Korea hospital. An RT-PCR assay, for identification of Leptospira sp. is developed by MRC-Holland, and research on water and urine samples collected from Addis and surrounding is being conducted by a Dutch physician-scientist in collaboration with AAU.
The concept of genetic testing and DNA based diagnostics is continuously introduced to Ethiopian professionals in the medical community by providing state of the art lectures and presentations in different venues: annual conferences of EMA, EPHA, EPHLA, EMLA and medical societies such as Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologisits (ESOG) and Ethiopian Pediatrics Society (EPS), as well as on several scheduled occasions/morning sessions of different hospitals in Addis Ababa.
The awareness creating activity extends beyond the medical professionals to the public at large using various media including appearances on health-related programs on TV (EBC and EBS)and radio interviews (Radio Fana, Sheger FM, Zami 97, Ahadu Radio). Currently, there is no lab that employs the DNA technology and performs forensic tests which include the frequently requested paternity testing. Samples are sent abroad and this puts a strain on the country’s foreign currency reserve. We are in the process of acquiring a new state of the art genetic analyzer which can be used for forensic purposes including paternity testing.