Maitama Hospital Measles and Yellow Fever Laboratory gets a boost from WHO
Abuja, 17 May 2018 – In a bid to strengthen measles and yellow fever surveillance in Nigeria, the World Health Organization (WHO) has refurbished a porta cabin work space and donated laboratory equipment that include ELISA readers test equipment and microplate washers to Maitama General Hospital in Abuja; a laboratory that is managed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Maitama General Hospital.
During the handover ceremony, the Country Representative of WHO (WR), Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, said that the equipment will help to improve the quality of work in the hospital especially for the measles and yellow fever surveillance unit. “Despite all the challenges you have had in monitoring and curtailing measles, you have managed to pull through. We hope that this facility will help to improve the quality of your work and will assist you in the surveillance of measles and yellow fever in Nigeria.”
In his response, the Chief Executive Officer of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu stated that the facility which is a collaborative effort between the government and partners was built with the aim of improving the quality of laboratory results and monitoring of measles and yellow fever investigations. “Ultimately, this facility is a result of teamwork. Let us make the best use of it and get the results we require.”
Speaking during the event, the Medical Director of the Maitama General Hospital, Dr Sule Ahmed, expressed his appreciation to the WHO generous contribution to the hospital. “We prefer to rely on a preventive approach than a curative approach. When you have a preventive approach and assets to help you achieve this, it makes the work even easier.” He stated. Measles is a preventable viral disease and is a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality particularly in developing countries. The disease is being targeted for elimination by countries in the African Region and globally. Quality Measles surveillance is essential to achieving elimination; and a Measles Laboratory is an important component of measles surveillance.
While laboratories help to confirm diagnosis and outbreaks; they ultimately provide the proof for ending transmission and achieving elimination of diseases targeted for elimination. WHO has been providing support to four national measles and yellow fever laboratories in Nigeria since 2006 through capacity building, supplies, equipment and accreditation.