Ebola: Nigerian directs laboratories to provide infection preventive measures

Ebola patient being attended to during the last outbreak

The Minister for State for Health said it has become necessary to look at both curative and preventive strategies to contain the disease.

The Federal Government on Tuesday directed all laboratory centres to put in place infection preventive measures.

The Minister of State for Health, Haliru Alhassan, gave the order at the inauguration of the Defence Reference Laboratory, DRL, extension building at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.

Mr. Haliru said that the directive became necessary since it has been discovered that health personnel were at high risk while providing treatment for victims.

According to the minister, it has now become necessary to look at both the curative and preventive strategies to contain the disease.

He noted that the inauguration of the DRL was timely because the country was grappling with HIV/AIDs scourge and the Ebola emergency.

He also promised that the Federal Ministry of Health would partner the military authorities towards finding a lasting solution to the Ebola challenge.

On his part, the Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, said that if the military was encouraged they would to do more in the area of research.

He said that the military was capable of coming out with drugs that would checkmate most medical challenges, adding that there will be no need to run overseas all the time for medical attention.

Mr. Obanikoro also said that the speedy completion of the laboratory underscored government’s commitment to invest in specialised disease detection.

The minister described the facility as the apex medical laboratory of the military, adding that it would serve as bedrock for advancement of research into the control of infectious and emerging diseases such as Ebola.

He explained that the DRL was established in partnership with the United States Department of Defence aimed at building national capacity for laboratory diagnostic research in Nigeria.

He disclosed that the construction of the new extension block and its speedy completion was the federal government’s way of investing in specialised diagnostic services and research as bedrock for advancement of medical care and control of infectious and emerging diseases.

“Naturally, there is no better place to make such an investment than the military.

“I am optimistic that that the frontiers of research would be further extended beyond the military to the civilian establishments like teaching hospitals and the academia,” said the minister.

The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Alex Badeh, disclosed that the referral laboratory would enhance Nigerian armed forces medical requirements “particularly at this period that our troops are deployed in response to national security challenges”.

Mr. Badeh said that the project was proof of government’s commitment to the welfare of troops in line with the President’s agenda to reposition the armed forces through a well motivated, trained, and equipped military.

“It will no doubt enhance the ability of the armed forces to meet the security aspirations of defending a united democratic Nigeria,” he said.



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