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US Ambassador visits Lugar Lab

By Messenger Staff
Monday, November 2
Georgia’s Minister of Health Davit Saakgeenko and Georgia’s Disease Control Nation Centre chairperson Amiran Gamkrelidze visited the US-financed, Tbilisi-based, Lugar Laboratory with the newly-appointed United States Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, several days ago.

During the visit, the American official had the opportunity to familiarize himself with the lab activity, which is chiefly focused on supporting Georgians combating various infections or illnesses.

Sergeenko stressed that without the laboratory, it would be impossible to eliminate the flourishing Hepatics C in Georgia.

“The Government-initiated project to defeat Hepatitis C in Georgia would collapse without the lab,” Sergeenko told the gathered Georgian and American officials.

The parties also dismissed the Russian speculations once again that the facility was a “United States military laboratory in Georgia, posing threats for Russia.”

The people emphasised the fact that it was a research laboratory, an open and transparent facility for scientists of the region managed by Georgians.

According to Georgian and U.S. officials, the U.S. invested $150 million in the state-of-the-art lab, which was named after former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar.

It aims at protecting public and animal health through the detection of dangerous pathogens by epidemiological surveillance.

The Lugar Center for Public Health and Research is part of the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health.

Meanwhile NGEO Global Research Centre, chaired by Nana Devdariani, held a discussion on October 31 covering Lugar laboratory issue. Representatives of official bodies, experts in medicine, environmental studies, politics, journalists and political analysts attended the event. Different opinions and approaches were discussed. As the matter of fact such laboratory should function so that no additional questions wouldn’t be needed.