By Stanley Onyekwere
Some stakeholders under the umbrella of FCT Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 have donated a world-class molecular diagnostic laboratory to the FCT Administration, to boost fight against the pandemic and other health challenges in the Territory.
Speaking at the commissioning and handover of the multi million Naira 400-capacity testing facility, provided by the Committee at the Kubwa General Hospital, FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello said it’s a vital and welcome intervention in the healthcare sector.
Bello said the modern facility, fully equipped molecular diagnostic laboratory, with the capacity of processing about 400 blood samples per day, will boost testing for COVID-19 in the FCT.
He expressed gratitude to the FCT Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar for their enormous contributions to our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The committee is today bequeathing to the FCT, their legacy project, which is the donation of this molecular diagnostic laboratory here at Kubwa General Hospital.
“It’s to their credit and great work done by our medical personnel and our entire COVID-19 response team that despite the the status of the FCT as an epicenter of COVID-19 in Nigeria, we have recorded relatively low fatalities and met our testing targets.
“We intend to put this laboratory to good and effective use even long after this war against covid19 is won and forgotten, which we pray will not be very long from now.
“We must however, not be complacent despite the low positives, we are currently witnessing as the virus is still very much around”, the Minister stated.
He therefore urged members of the public to seize the opportunity currently provided to get vaccinated, while observing all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures already prescribed.
Similarly, the Minister of State For Health, Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, described the provision of the facility as apt, as it’s one of the most important aspects of medical care, because no one can effectively treat patients without proper diagnosis.
He noted that COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise as several interventions to tackle the pandemic provided opportunity to boost healthcare services.
He however commended the FCTA for its efforts to ensure the defeat of the COVID-19
Earlier, while handing over the facility to the FCT Minister, Chairman of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, expressed optimism that the laboratory will serve as a trigger for the building and equipping at least one laboratory each in the Area Councils of the FCT in the next five years.
Umar disclosed that the committee suggested to the FCT Administration, to give consideration on how this laboratory along with other existing and future ones, can operate on a sustainable basis.
He adds: “To this effect, we wish to suggest the consideration of the FCTA to explore public private partnership arrangement; or to create a full-fledged FCT Directorate of Laboratory Services, which will report directly to the Permanent Secretary and will have its own line vote in the FCTA annually”.