Alliance Biosciences provides HIV and TB biosafety guidance to
9 March 2010
Alliance Biosciences has reached an agreement with the
Nyumbani Children's Home in Kenya to provide engineering and biosafety
guidance to Nyumbani's planned HIV/TB diagnostic facility.
This project will provide a state-of-the-art facility for the
Nyumbani orphanage to conduct better diagnostics for HIV and TB
patients at the Children's Home, and in the surrounding Kenyan
"It's not often that a private firm like Alliance Biosciences has
opportunities to provide expertise for the design and operation of
biocontainment laboratories, and assist an institution like
Nyumbani," said Dr. Burnette. "I can't think of a better project, or
a more noble entity than Nyumbani Children's Home."
Near Nairobi, Kenya, the Nyumbani Children's Home is an orphanage
with just over 100 abandoned HIV+ infants and children. Nyumbani
provides housing, antiretroviral therapy, spiritual guidance and
education to the children as well as to the surrounding community.
Nyumbani currently operates HIV diagnostic facilities, but needs the
new laboratory for improved HIV, and additional tuberculosis,
The ravages of tuberculosis have long been felt in Africa,
pressing institutions like Nyumbani to possess diagnostics for both
epidemics. Dr Burnette will visit Nyumbani Children's Home in March,
following his presentation on practical engineering applications for
biocontainment labs in developing regions at the African Biosafety
Association conference in Nairobi.
"The opportunity to receive consultancy from Alliance Biosciences
in the design, building and operation of our new Diagnostic
Laboratory is a tremendous opportunity," said Sister Mary Owens,
Executive Director of Nyumbani. "Not only will it mean that our
laboratory will be of international standard, but it will open up
the world of high-containment laboratories more widely in Africa. We
are very grateful to have been introduced to them."
"Working with local architects and contractors on this effort
will promote knowledge of biocontainment facilities to a region that
is hungry for expertise," said Dr Burnette. "At the heart of the
matter, this facility will improve diagnostics HIV+ orphans and the
community in Kenya. This is social responsibility on many levels,
and Alliance Biosciences is proud to be involved in this project."
About Nyumbani Children's Home
Nyumbani Children's Home was founded in 1992, born from the
vision of Father Angelo D'Agostino, to provide housing, nutritional
care, medical care including antiretroviral therapy, education and
counseling to HIV+ orphans. Starting out as a small home, it has
grown to a multi-faceted institution comprising the Children's Home,
laboratory, Lea Toto, a community-based outreach program, and the
Nyumbani Village, a 1000 acre self-sustaining village to serve
orphans and elders who have suffered the HIV pandemic. Its
laboratory was founded in 1998, and provides over 1500 diagnostic
tests per month.
To learn more about the Nyumbani Children's Home, Laboratory, Lea
Toto, and Nyumbani Village, and to make donations to support their
efforts, please visit