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US backs Nigeria’s disease surveillance, with modern lab

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UNITED States (US) consul-general Will Stevens has said Washington is supporting Nigeria’s disease surveillance and response efforts through the upgrading of the biorepository laboratory at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos.

  The expansion and equipping of the biorepository were supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) through COVID-19 CARES Act funding.

The US Consulate, public affairs section, disclosed this in a press statement released on Thursday.

  In addition to the provision of equipment and medical supplies, the US CDC supported the training of staff of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control 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 commissioning is a major accomplishment of the strategic partnership between the United States and Nigeria to support health security and respond to disease threats,” Stevens said.

  Consul General Stevens highlighted the U.S-Nigeria longstanding partnership with Nigerian health institutions to implement key public health programmes, 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.

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  The biorepository laboratory project was implemented in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria.

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