President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the federal government had provided funds for the establishment of laboratories in all federal tertiary health institutions and its research centres.
The president disclosed this at the 2nd Regional Annual Scientific Conference and Induction of Elected Fellows of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) in Abuja,
Represented by the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, President Buhari noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) helped in training Nigerian scientists, improving their capacity in testing, saying the training has helped the scientists to get to where we are today.
According to him, “Our monocular laboratory assets have since then increased in both private and public fare, while knowledge and skills to conduct testing has spread to hundreds of laboratory scientists around the country.
“This rapid and wide spread expansion of their diagnostic capacity was one of the advantages and benefits that helped us to manage the COVID-19 pandemic with whatever accuracy we have talked about today and with safety that has come along with it.
In his opening remarks, Ehanire, who was represented by the director of hospital services, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, said the theme of the conference, ‘Improving Global Health by Strengthening Laboratory Capacity in Africa’’ was well chosen, noting that at the onset of COVID-19, very few laboratories had capacity to conduct molecular testing, a methodology that has overtaken traditional methods used to identify organisms”.
“We could not have effectively managed the pandemic the way we did without increasing the number of laboratories that could detect COVID-19 accurately and in a safe manner.