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[NAIROBI] A US$1.2 million laboratory complex, which will provide high-level medical research facilities of a kind not previously seen in East Africa, has been inaugurated at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi.

The complex, which was created with the support of the US government, will act as the Kenyan headquarters of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It will also provide offices and laboratories for collaborative research with KEMRI on infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

The facility includes a state-of-the-art laboratory — the first of its kind in the continent outside South Africa — for the diagnosis of haemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola and Rift Valley Fever.

KEMRI has been conducting collaborative research with the CDC, the leading US agency for protecting human health and safety, since its creation in 1979. The new facility is part of CDC's activities to strengthen research capacity, in particular human resource development and research infrastructure, at KEMRI.