NCDC inaugurates biological lab to fight emerging diseases
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has inaugurated a biorepository in Lagos to collect, catalogue and store samples of biological materials for laboratory research.
NCDC director-general Ifedayo Adetifa disclosed on Saturday in Abuja that the facility had been located at the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL).
The biorepository will manage specimens from animals, plants, and other living organisms.
Mr Adetifa said the facility was provided as part of the agency’s effort to build sustainable systems for health security through strategic partnerships and that it was supported by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) through the Institute of Human Virology (IHVN).
The NCDC boss added that the effort would strengthen diagnostic capacity and surveillance for infectious diseases in the country.
He mentioned that one of the strategic approaches to achieving the NCDC mandate was developing and maintaining reference laboratories across the country to support the accurate and timely detection of infectious diseases.
He explained that the biorepository was essential for preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks.
“It facilitates timely sharing of biological specimens and data and facilitates research, including public health research and development. This biorepository in CPHL will afford researchers that meet the necessary ethical requirements easy access to well-curated biological samples and data,” explained the NCDC director-general.
He added, “The samples made available through biorepositories such as this also aid training, confirmation of proficiency, etc.”
Mr Adefita further noted that the additional sample storage capacity would contribute to an increased understanding of infectious diseases through integrated disease surveillance and research.
“It will inform public health decision-making and facilitate the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines,” he said.
Mr Adetifa also stressed that the new biorepository would serve as a centralised national resource for valuable, high-quality, well-annotated samples and would expand NCDC’s capacity for biobanking and complement its National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, which houses the largest biorepository in West Africa.
He further stated that the quality of the biospecimens would enhance timely detection and response to emerging and re-emerging disease outbreaks and develop therapeutics and vaccines for the country.
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