The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has said it will build Molecular laboratories in the north-east states.
The MD/CEO of the commission, Mohammad Goni Alkali, said this yesterday, during a working visit to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Headquarters in Abuja. According to him, the commission has earlier equipped a molecular laboratory in Bauchi and has since commenced operation in which several COVID-19 tests were conducted successfully.
“The outbreak of the pandemic in the Northeast has prompted the commission to support the five other remaining states by establishing a state of the art molecular laboratories in the fight against the pandemic while also identifying other infectious diseases within the north-eastern sub-region,” Alkali said.
He told the Director-General, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, of the commission’s readiness and determination to ensure that the northeast region receives the required attention in terms of provision of health care facilities.
He also said that establishing such molecular laboratories across the sun-region will aid in early detection for onward processing and referral to the appropriate health centres. He, therefore, appealed for collaboration with the NCDC in the area of the provision of technical support and accreditation for the proposed labs, stating that it would be critical in ensuring the centres meets the standard.
Responding the NCDC DG, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, expressed satisfaction with the initiative taken by the NEDC to partner with the NCDC noting that it provides the opportunity to ensure the right equipment is provided with the right personnel at the right place with the right leadership.
He told the visitors that the centre is aware of the NEDC’s contribution in providing massive opportunity in the northeast region, particularly, focusing on health and education, citing the University of Maiduguri which use be known in the past times as playing a huge role in infectious diseases control.
Ihekweazu assured that the centre would partner with NEDC throughout the process starting from set up till the labs are up and fully functional. He emphasized that it should be situated within secondary or tertiary health facilities for sustainability beyond the outbreak.
“States will be independently assessed to identify locations, the centre will continue to provide mentorship and enhance the capacity of health workers in the region as human resources are the most critically required,” he said.
Director-General assured that the Center would partner with NEDC throughout the process stating from set up till the labs are up and fully functional. Emphasized that it should be situated within Secondary or Tertiary Health facilities for sustainability beyond the outbreak. States will be independently assessed to identify locations.
Adding that the Center will continue to provide mentorship and enhance the capacity of health workers in the region as human resources are the most critically required.