New DPHSS Health Lab Can Test Mosquito-Borne and Food-Borne Diseases

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In the future, they hope Guam will become a regional health lab and he hopes that Guam will no longer have to send samples off island and wait for results.

Guam – Guam now has the capacity to better monitor, prevent and control mosquito-borne and food-borne outbreaks and diseases with the opening of the new Guam Environmental Public Health Laboratory.

 

The $3-million dollar facility built in Dededo, funded by the Department of Interior Office of Insular Areas, includes an auditorium-style lecture room, data center, storage room, and employee support rooms. The laboratory will benefit Guam as the Department of Public Health and Social Services will now have the ability to implement surveillance for food and mosquitoes. The facility will also have the capacity to conduct food screening tests for heavy metals and pathogens as well as to test water quality for the presence of lead and other metals dispensed from water vending machines and water manufacturing facilities. 

DPHSS Chief Environmental Health Officer Thomas Nadeau says this project all started from a complaint from his staff that the current office was too small. He says, “We’re here today, nearly a decade later standing in front of a building, nearly 10-thousand sq ft in size, about three times the size of our current office in Mangilao. This facility consists of 34 rooms, housing a mosquito lab, food screening lab, training room, a conference room, and rooms large enough to store all our equipment supplies.”