Nigeria will soon have a World Health Organization (WHO) approved reference laboratory for confirmation of test carried out in the country. Currently, tests are sent to Dakar, Senegal, WHO reference Centre for West Africa for confirmation of suspected outbreaks of diseases.

Speaking on Monday, on the Elimination of Yellow fever Epidemics (EYE), strategy on the current campaign on suspected yellow fever outbreak in Edo state, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib said that the government is prioritizing the idea of a WHO reference laboratory in the country.

Dr. Faisal noted that with the level of works put into it, the laboratory should be ready in the next six months. He said, “it makes no sense that with all the human and material resources we have in Nigeria, we have to go to Dakar for confirmation. Again this is part of the rot that has taken place in the health sector over the last few decades”.

He also noted that the country is targeting 90% immunization coverage through the mass campaign programme. While noting that 21 states are classified as high risk, Dr. Faisal said that the country has enough stock of preventive vaccines against yellow fever. He stressed that the goal of the yellow fever preventive mass vaccination campaign is to “reduce yellow fever transmission.

He also revealed that the ongoing campaign is the third in line with government efforts towards achieving a total coverage of the country. He, therefore, assured the general public that all the agencies involved are working swiftly to contain the spread and prevent further outbreaks.

Source: The Nation