Health ministry approves Police lab to conduct DNA tests

Police forensic analysts inside DFS. Courtesy photo

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Health, has cleared the Uganda Police Forensic Laboratory to conduct Forensic DNA testing services adding to the database of gazetted/certified facilities for DNA testing relationships in the country.

Police Spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga revealed on Monday that the lab was given a green light after meeting the necessary requirements and standards to carry out DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) testing services.

“The clearance of the Forensic DNA Lab, is a big and important step, in significantly enhancing the investigative capabilities of the police, and also plays a pivotal role in crime solving, disaster victim identification, and counter-terrorism efforts,” said Mr Enanga while addressing journalists in Kampala.

Enanga explained, by comparison, DNA is scientifically accurate and more difficult to dispute than eyewitness accounts, and that the DNA lab testing centre “has further helped remove the major setbacks, in obtaining the much-needed justice for victims of crime, by corroborating witness and survivor statements.”

The laboratory, which is based at the Police headquarters at Naguru in Kampala, was commissioned on January 28, 2021, by Principal Judge Flavian Zeija.

Enanga said that the police DNA and Forensic Testing Service features a laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art technology and facilities to perform a broad range of forensic DNA testing services, for evidential material, in support of investigations by the police.

“The tests include; dead body identification, DNA paternity, and maternity. Sibling and kinship testing in criminal investigations, immigration DNA testing, cell line authentication and DNA profile.”

He added that the laboratory will also work with medical officers, from the health ministry, who handle evidential material for DNA analysis, to ensure that the identification, collection, packaging, storage and transportation of the evidential material attains acceptable international standards.

“…the Police Forensic Laboratory is committed to providing high-quality DNA testing services, that are accurate and reliable. In addition, the force’s extensive use of DNA technology, in crime solving, disaster victim identification, and counter-terrorism efforts, shows our commitment to upholding justice, providing closure to victim’s families and ensuring National Security.”

As Police continue to harness the DNA technology, Enanga said the force reinforces its position as a progressive and resilient institution, poised to combat crime and safeguard the well-being of the nation.

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