U.S. supports Nigeria’s disease surveillance, response efforts

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…As health stakeholders launch biorepository laboratory

Abimbola Abatta

The upgraded biorepository laboratory at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)’s Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos was commissioned on Thursday.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) through COVID-19 CARES Act funding, the project was implemented in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria.

In addition to the provision of equipment and medical supplies, the U.S. CDC supported the training of NCDC staff to improve local capacity in managing the laboratory.

In his remarks, Consul General Stevens noted that the new facility will support Nigeria’s disease control efforts through the cataloguing and storing of blood samples for future use, such as testing to improve the detection and surveillance of new, emerging, and reemerging diseases.

He expressed optimism that the upgraded biorepository laboratory will support Nigeria’s readiness for future epidemic and pandemic responses.

“Today’s (Thursday) commissioning is a major accomplishment of the strategic partnership between the United States and Nigeria to support health security and respond to disease threats,” Consul General Stevens said.

Consul General Stevens highlighted the U.S-Nigeria longstanding partnership with Nigerian health institutions to implement key public health programs, evaluate disease surveillance and response efforts, and contribute to reinforcing the existing public health infrastructure.

“Since 2004, the United States and Nigeria have partnered to improve laboratory networks, systems, and services. These collaborations have consistently yielded results as the nation’s laboratory capacity continues to grow in quantity and quality,” he added.