UK Support Nigeria in Acquiring COVID-19 Testing Machine

Udeh Emmanuel, Lagos

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 PCR machine was acquired using part of the £661,000 UKAid funding the British government donated to the Nigeria branch of the World Health Organisation (WHO) this year. The machine was however, unveiled at the campus of the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Lagos on Sunday

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, which is capable of testing about 3,000 per day

He said,”We are glad to be getting such huge support and technical advice from our partners including the UK Governments’ Department for International Development (DFID).”

“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 unveiling, the British high commissioner representative, Karl Holmes said the PCR machine is part of the UK financial and technical support to Nigeria. He also said that the machine will contribute to the wider effort to strengthen testing in the country.

“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.”

CMM confirmed from THE CABLE source privy.

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