Countries are shifting from pandemic response to pandemic preparedness and ramping up their diagnostics infrastructures, enabling them to quickly and accurately identify new potential health threats. To improve laboratory infrastructure, many countries are investing in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology that offers ultra-high throughput, scalability, and speed.
NGS technology is used to determine the order of nucleotides in entire genomes or targeted regions of DNA or RNA. The technology has revolutionized the biological sciences, allowing labs to perform a wide variety of applications and study biological systems at a level never before possible.
In 2022, PFSCM worked closely with a principal recipient (PR) in Benin to help them secure two new Illumina MiSeq sequencing systems from PFSCM’s NGS portfolio. The machines were delivered early in 2023, after making a 5,000 km journey from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, to Cotonou, in Benin via air transport. It was the first time PFSCM procured and delivered NGS machines, and the organization is proud to have again supported Benin in its efforts to fight pandemics through quick and accurate diagnostics.
PFSCM Logistics Specialist Valentin Jehan says the shipping of machines and reagents was an interesting and complex process to manage.
“The shipment contained a mixed batch of goods. The equipment itself was shipped at ambient temperature, whereas the reagents and other chemical consumables were transported frozen as cold chain.”
He adds that PFSCM has, in recent years, sharpened its expertise in cold chain and dangerous goods shipping and implements track-and-trace and sensing technologies like real-time data loggers to continuously monitor the climatic conditions goods are exposed during transportation.
“Our in-house expertise combined with the experience of our trusted freight forwarding partners enables us to move expensive, large time-and-temperature sensitive goods to even the most challenging places on earth.”
Valentin concludes that PFSCM gained valuable insights into the nuances of procuring and shipping next-generation sequencers for the first time.
“A lot of focus went into the supply chain process, and we are grateful for the cooperation of attention of our clients, suppliers, and freight forwarders. By working together towards a common goal, we ensured these groundbreaking machines arrived at the right place at the right time.”
Since the Benin order, PFSCM has also delivered MiSeq systems to Kenya, Burkina Faso and Eswatini.