EXPERT CALLS FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF REFERENCE LABORATORY IN NIGERIA

BY PRUDENCE IJAH, ABUJA 

The Chairman of the Expert Review committee, Professor Oyewole Tomori has harped on the need for Federal government to fasten the operation of a reference laboratory in Nigeria.

Tomori made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja at a media briefing on the current ongoing Yellow fever operation in Nigeria.

 Professor Tomori reinstated the need for measures to be put in place for laboratory to test for Yellow fever in the Country. 

‘We hope that within the next six months , Nigeria would have a laboratory to test for Yellow fever.” He said. 

He called on the leadership in the health sector to see the laboratory as a matter of urgency.

The Executive Secretary of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib however reiterated the willingness of the government to establish a reference laboratory that will curtail the spread of the disease.

While reacting  to the outbreak of Yellow Fever in Edo state, he noted that 9 out of the samples tested positive, and have been forwarded to Dakar Reference laboratory for confirmation.

The Executive Secretary also advised Nigerians within the age range of 9 months to 44 years of age , to avail themselves the opportunity of taking the Yellow Fever vaccination .

Shuaib said “the exercise is a preventive mass vaccination that is meant to reduce regular risk assessment as this agency has ensured the emergency stockpile of vaccines in order to respond to emergency outbreak”.

The Executive Secretary also hinted that the aim of the Yellow Fever campaign is to achieve 97% in the implementing states .

“Nigeria being a Yellow Fever Endemic country has received considerable attention from WHO, UNICEF, and GAVI following the outbreak in Nigeria last year.”  

The  WHO EPI Team lead, Dr Fiona Braka,  charged Nigerians to make use of the preventive campaign to prevent the haemorragic fever.

She assured the public that the outbreak in Edo state is being curtailed effectively.
“The sample cases are being taken to Dakar ,to know the next step. Nigeria is a high endemic Country ”

 You will recall that the World Health Organisation launched the EYE strategy in April 2018, and aims to eliminate Yellow by 2026.

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