Alliance Biosciences provides HIV and TB biosafety guidance to Kenyan orphanage

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 community.

"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, diagnostics.

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 


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