By Chioma Umeha
The U.S. Government, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO), today inaugurated a state-of-the-art polio modular laboratory at University College Hospital, Ibadan, to improve the efficiency of polio diagnosis in Nigeria through reliable environmental sampling.
While examining the ultra-modern amenities with representatives of the Federal Government, U.S. Consul General John Bray observed that the new facility, which cost an estimated $400,000, exists alongside a World Health Organization (WHO) accredited polio laboratory in Ibadan, but is the first one in the country equipped to detect the wild polio virus from waste water.
“This new facility will enhance Nigeria’s ability to respond to polio outbreaks quickly, by promptly diagnosing polio from samples received from the 48 environmental sewage sites across the country.” Consul General Bray noted.
“The eradication of poliomyelitis will be accomplished only when polio laboratories provide convincing diagnostic evidence of the absence of wild poliovirus infections in humans and prolonged circulation in the environment,” he added.
More than 70 participants attended the event, including Nigerian government officials, representatives of donor agencies, UN agencies and Rotary International.
To help Nigeria address its high mortality rates, USAID helps increase access to quality family planning and reproductive health services, immunizations, polio eradication, malaria prevention and maternal health services. USAID also provides technical support to immunization campaigns through social mobilization, and other activities.