The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has set up a coronavirus testing laboratory for the North-Eastern part of the country following the continued spread of the deadly virus to several states in Nigeria.
It explained that the laboratory established at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Borno State, was to ensure effective surveillance, detection, and response to the pandemic in the North East region, and mitigate the spread of the virus to other regions in the north.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, noted that the move by the NCDC to set up a laboratory was in the right direction, as it would enhance the region’s fight against the virus.
The CMD, while briefing newsmen on Thursday, said though the state is yet to record any case of coronavirus, the laboratory will the testing of samples of suspected cases of coronavirus in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other neighboring states at the facility.
Ahidjo also revealed that that the NCDC had installed the Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS) to improve disease surveillance, detection, and management of any outbreaks, and that 10 laboratory scientists and two quality control officers had undergone capacity training on how to use the machines and kits by the NCDC management.
“We have already established our own COVID-19 center in the hospital in collaboration with the Borno State Government. I want to commend the government for supporting the hospital.
“We have also produced our own hand sanitizers for our staff, hospital community as well as the general public with a view to promoting safe hygiene practices,” he said.