EUROPEAN UNION, AECID AND GIZ ECUADOR VISITED THE COVID-19 LAB OF YACHAY TECH TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR RESULTS
Julia Unger, Coordinator of the SI-Frontera Program of GIZ Ecuador, José María Medina, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union and Luis Miguel Gómez, General Coordinator of Spanish Cooperation in Ecuador, visited Yachay Tech to learn about the operation of the YT Covid 19 laboratory and to coordinate joint actions for the benefit of the Northern Zone of the country.
The visit also included the participation of the Prefect of Imbabura, Pablo Jurado, and the National Coordinator of Territorial Strengthening of AME, Mauricio Gallardo.
José María Lalama, PhD, Rector and President of the Supervisory and Institutional Strengthening Commission of Yachay Tech, thanked the visit and stated that: “It is an honor to have the European Community here, which is once again kind enough to support a country in the process of development at the best University of Ecuador. At Yachay Tech we are proud to have the best researchers and to have a laboratory that serves the Northern Zone of the country”.
The Rector highlighted the University achievements in terms of scientific publications and the expansion of the academic offer. He pointed out that research, teaching and academic quality are the essence of the University.
Julia Unger, Coordinator of the SI-Frontera Program of GIZ Ecuador, mentioned that the purpose of the visit was to show the new representatives of the European Union and the Spanish Cooperation “the joint effort that was made with the leadership of Yachay Tech, which was at the forefront working during times of pandemic, made its facilities available and readjusted its laboratory with the support of private companies. As a cooperating institution, we have helped to keep this process working and today 27 thousand PCR tests have been processed for the benefit of the most vulnerable population on the northern border”.
Unger stressed that they have maintained permanent contact with the laboratory, and that the plan is to deliver 10,000 PCR tests, plus additional reagents to continue working in the laboratory and meet the demands of the health service.
“Yachay is the example where we all came together to work on a very important matter such as addressing the pandemic. We are excited and very happy for the work and professionalism of the team of technicians at the PCR Covid-19 test processing laboratory. Yachay Tech has lived up to the needs of the country, the agility with which they process the tests is impressive, it has been a magnificent process”, concluded Unger.
José María Medina, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to Ecuador, indicated that several contributions have been made through the support program for the northern border, “a very important one at the University with our colleagues from GIZ and the Spanish Cooperation, as we have contributed to the establishment of this laboratory with equipment and the necessary tests for PCR testing, which were very important when it came to making decisions to save lives”.
Medina added that, “The laboratory is fully operational and can now focus on the needs of the country, which may change to other sectors such as agriculture and banana infections.”
Along these lines, Luis Miguel Gómez, General Coordinator of Spanish Cooperation in Ecuador, stated that: “This visit is special. Due to the impact that COVID 19 has had across the country and the world, the Spanish, German and European Cooperation decided to provide their support to the University. So far, it has been very positive. It was done in a time of need and the collective intervention of the three institutions helped the laboratory to get going and help all the territories of the northern zone”.
Finally, the cooperating institutions indicated that they will seek new collaborations with Yachay Tech that can benefit the country. This is an example of how academia, through the support of the private and inter-institutional sector, can generate meaningful solutions to the problems that affect the population.