The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has unveiled a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine to boost COVID-19 testing in the country.
The machine was unveiled at the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL), a campus of the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Lagos, on Sunday.
The PCR machine was procured using part of the £661,000 UKAid funding the British government donated to the Nigeria branch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) this year.
Both UK and Nigerian authorities have been collaborating closely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the unveiling, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of NCDC, said the machine will help in achieving the centre’s goal to test over two million people over the next three months.
He said it will increase the nation’s capacity to carry out 3,000 tests per day.
“We are glad to be getting such huge support and technical advice from our partners including the UK Governments’ Department for International Development (DFID),” he said.
“This new PCR Machine, which is a small part of our bigger testing strategy, will help us in driving towards our goal to test over 2 million people over the next three months. This laboratory will now be able to play an even bigger role to help us meet this target.”
Also speaking on the donation, Karl Holmes, British high commissioner representative at the event, said the PCR machine is part of the UK government’s support to Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that the machine will “contribute to the wider efforts to strengthen testing in Nigeria”.
“The procurement of this new PCR machine complements the UK Government’s ongoing financial and technical support to Nigeria for the provision of diagnostic reagents and consumables, Biosafety training and certifications through our International Health Regulations (lHR) Strengthening Project led by Public Health England,” he said.
“We hope this machine and other support will contribute to the wider efforts to strengthen testing in Nigeria. These efforts have been steadily expanding over the last few weeks and we welcome this progress. The UK remains committed to continuing our support to this and other pillars of the response.”
Click to signup for FREE news updates, latest information and hottest gists everyday
Advertise on NigerianEye.com to reach thousands of our daily readers