Written by Williams ABAH

NCDC, build three new laboratories

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has activated three laboratories to test disease outbreak samples.

The Director General of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this in Abuja, during a media tour of the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa a suburb in Abuja.

According to him, three new laboratories were at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, and the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.

He noted that the laboratories would provide primary testing for yellow fever, measles and rubella diseases.

In his words, “The teaching hospitals where these laboratories are located will provide leadership, staff, power and water supply as well as other resources they will require to function,” he said.

Ihekweazu said that the NCDC had the mandate to lead the coordination of public health laboratories by ensuring standardisation of testing methods, quality assurance, supply chain management as well as supporting preventive and corrective maintenance.

The NCDC boss said the National Reference Laboratory was working toward full accreditation to serve as a reference laboratory for yellow fever.

“Three years ago, this place was just an empty building, but today, a lot has been put in place and we hope to replicate this capacity across the country.

“We are committed to strengthening our engagement with the media and using their platforms to communicate better with Nigerians,” he said.

He added that to build Nigeria’s capacity in line with global standards, NCDC, with support from its partners, included the three new laboratories in the national network as part of the global laboratory network.

Also speaking, UNTH representative, Chioma Benjamin-Puja, an assistant director, medical laboratory services, said the institution had advocated inclusion for a long period of time given the incidence of yellow fever in some parts of the South-East.

In her words, “The new laboratory for the South-East will greatly reduce turnaround time for testing of sample and eliminating time spent in sending samples to Lagos or FCT.

“We are very grateful for this opportunity and express our full and strong commitment to ensure that the laboratory serves its purpose,” she said.

 

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