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Funding still a major challenge in running laboratories in Nigeria-IHVN
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By News Agency of Nigeria
October 22, 2017 10:54:38am GMT      |      Views: 349
Health care

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Abuja on Sunday said funding remains a major challenge in the establishment and operation of standard laboratories in Nigeria.

Mrs Oyebimpe Balogun, the IHVN Programme Manager of the institute, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Balogun said that although the Federal Government had made a lot of effort in setting up functional laboratories in Nigeria, existing laboratories were not adequately equipped.

She said that IHVN would, however, continue to support and partner with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the provision of infrastructure and human capacity development.

She said the institute would also support in the conduct of laboratory investigations to help respond to emerging infections.

Balogun explained that diseases like Monkey pox require high technology to be able to test and detect the virus, adding that only a few of the required technologies were available in the country.

“We have high technologies to test and detect diseases in the country but we need to make them functional so that at the point of need we can utilise them.

“Funding is a major challenge. Although government is doing the best it can, there is a lot more that needs to be done in setting up standard laboratories in the country.

“There is the need for facility upgrade, capacity building and technical assistance in the operation of these laboratories,’’ Balogun said.

She said that IHVN had been able to support 110 clinical laboratories in the country, adding that 11 of them had molecular diagnostic capacity.

The programme manager said that IHVN had also provided 10 tuberculosis reference laboratories in the country with three of the laboratories having bio-safety “level three capacity’’.

“ Not all labs can handle all agents, there are labs with higher capacities and bio-safety level 3 is one of such labs.

“We have these laboratories in many states; IHVN also supports the entire tuberculosis laboratory in the country.

“We have capable scientists to manage our laboratories but more hands are needed to be able to manage the work carried out in these facilities,’’ she said.

According to Balogun, Nigeria presently has more than 1,000 laboratories. (NAN)

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