Nigeria, US ink pact to advance disease surveillance and response efforts

NIGERIA – The Federal government of Nigeria has partnered with the Federal government of the United States (US) to improve laboratory networks, systems and services particularly an upgraded biorepository laboratory at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, has kicked off the implementation of the biorepository laboratory project with support from the US.

The upgraded biorepository laboratory will support Nigeria’s readiness for future epidemic and pandemic responses while strengthening cooperation between the United States and Nigeria to support health security and respond to disease threats.

According to the US Embassy & Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul General Will Stevens recently joined senior Nigerian public health officials at the commissioning of an upgraded biorepository laboratory at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos.

The US Embassy & Consulate in Nigeria said that the expansion and equipping of the biorepository were supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) through COVID-19 CARES Act funding.

The US Embassy revealed that the CDC has supported the training of staff of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control along with providing essential equipment and medical supplies to improve local capacity in managing the laboratory.

Consul General Stevens pointed out that the new facility will support Nigeria’s disease control efforts through the cataloguing and storing of blood samples for future use including testing to improve the detection and surveillance of new, emerging and reemerging diseases.

He further stated that the US-Nigeria longstanding partnership with Nigerian health institutions will support the implementation of key public health programs, 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,” Consul General Stevens added.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control has strengthened surveillance and laboratory testing as well as improved information about the distribution of disease in humans to bridge gaps in detection of infectious diseases.

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