The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced the inclusion of three new laboratories into the nation’s yellow fever, rubella and measles laboratory network.
In a statement, the Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the new labs are situated in University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Edo State, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu and the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.
“To build Nigeria’s capacity in line with global standards, we are officially activating three new laboratories, a necessary addition to our existing laboratory network for yellow fever, measles, and rubella,” Dr Ihekweazu said.
“These laboratories are also part of the global WHO laboratory network.
The new laboratories in Edo, Enugu and the FCT will improve our coverage and ensure timely detection and response,” Ihekweazu added.
Speaking, Dr Clement Lasuba, World Health Organisation (WHO) representative, reiterated the organisation's support and commitment to the strengthening of Nigeria’s public health laboratory.
He said, “We are proud of this milestone and fully recognise NCDC’s leadership in this regard.
The inclusion of these three new laboratories will strengthen the national diagnostic capacity; a critical step for Nigeria’s health security.
WHO will continue to support the development of public health laboratory services in Nigeria.”
Dr Obinna Onodugo, Chief Medical Director, UNTH said the establishment of the lab in the South-east will aid service delivery in the region.
“This is an inclusion that we have been advocating for a long period of time given the incidence of yellow fever in some parts of the south-East and our dependence on laboratories in other regions,” he said.