Sunday, October 21, 2018
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IHVN, Nasarawa Government to Establish Laboratory Research Center

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The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and the Nasarawa State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a World Class Laboratory Center to carry out research, laboratory diagnosis and respond to epidemics in the state and beyond.

At a ceremony in the State Ministry of Health today, the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura, who was represented by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Dan Iya, stated that the laboratory center would address disease outbreaks like Lassa Fever.

“Whenever there is any case of Lassa fever, we take necessary precautions including the standard or best practices involved in the containment of the disease but one of the things that most of us are aware of is that to make a diagnosis, you have to take a sample of blood and take it to Irrua, which is the nearest center for confirmation. We believe that that as a state, having a facility will help us in terms of making accurate diagnosis,” Dr. Iya said.

imagesDr. Iya said that the state government is very committed to the project as it would strengthen health care delivery in the state and would be a legacy that would outlive the administration.

IHVN Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Patrick Dakum said that the Institute’s commitment to provide technical support along with the University of Maryland, Baltimore is for the long haul. “It is one thing to have a building, which I am very sure His Excellency is willing to go ahead and equip but it is another thing to have it functional and have a science that is certified internationally. We are going to ensure that the ethics and culture of research is established in Nasarawa State,” he said.

The laboratory center is also to host a quarantine facility to isolate patients for investigation of illnesses. The Executive Director of the IHVN International Research Center of Excellence and Chairman Board of Directors of African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Prof. Alash’le Abimiku said that the center is to be one of its kind in West Africa. “We know what humble beginnings can lead to that is why we are very excited about the commitment we have already seen in the governor and people of Nasarawa State.”

Dignitaries from the State Ministry of Health and Finance and representatives from development partners were present at the ceremony.

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