NCDC establishes COVID-19 testing laboratory for N/East in Borno

The Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has established a COVID-19 testing laboratory at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) to enhance effective surveillance, detection and response to the pandemic in the North East region.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, confirmed this on Thursday in Maiduguri.

Ahidjo said that henceforth, the samples of suspected cases of COVID-19 in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other neighboring states, can be tested and conducted at the facility.

The NCDC had installed the Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS) to improve disease surveillance, detection, and management of any outbreaks.

He explained 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.

He said that the hospital had adopted proactive measures aimed at mitigating the spread of Coronavirus and protecting the health and safety of patients, staff, and visitors.

“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.

“We want to give special commendation to Sir Emeka Offor Foundation for donating about 140 feet container loads of medical equipment under its 2020 humanitarian aid,” he said.

The CMD said that the support was timely as it came at a critical time of need.

He urged well-meaning individuals, philanthropists, and business communities to emulate the foundation to enable it to improve the quality of health in society.

The Borno is one of the 17 states in Nigeria yet to record any Coronavirus case.

The NCDC has supported about 11 states to establish Public Health Emergency Operations Centres for improved coordination of outbreak preparedness and response.

The states include  Osun, Lagos, Oyo, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Ebonyi, Borno, Plateau, and Rivers as well as FCT-Abuja. (NAN)

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