By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Federal Government on Tuesday directed all laboratory centres to put in place preventive measures in readiness for any Ebola eventuality.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Halliru Alhassan, gave the order at the inauguration of the Defence Reference Laboratory (DRL) extension building at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.
Halliru said that the directive became necessary since it has been discovered that health personnel were at high risk while providing treatment for victims.
According to the minister, it has now become necessary not only to look at both the curative and preventive strategies to contain the disease.
He noted that the inauguration of the DRL was timely because the country was grappling with HIV/AIDs scourge and the Ebola emergency.
He also promised that the Federal Ministry of Health would partner the military authorities towards finding a lasting solution to the Ebola challenge.
On his part, Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, said that if the military was encouraged they would to do more in the area of research.
He said that the military was capable of coming out with drugs that would checkmate most medical challenges.
Obanikoro also said that the speedy completion of the laboratory underscored government commitment to invest in specialised disease detection.
The minister described the facility as the apex medical laboratory of the military, adding that it would serve as bedrock for advancement of research into the control of infectious and emerging diseases such as Ebola.
He explained that the DRL was established in partnership with the United States Department of Defence aimed at building national capacity for laboratory diagnostic research in Nigeria.
He disclosed that the construction of the new extension block and its speedy completion was the federal government’s way of investing in specialised diagnostic services and research as bedrock for advancement of medical care and control of infectious and emerging diseases.