At the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL), a site of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s National Reference Laboratory in Lagos, the NCDC has opened a sizable biorepository facility.
The Institute of Human Virology in Nigeria, one of the project’s implementing partners, received funding from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC).
The project was a component of continuing initiatives in Nigeria to improve diagnostic capabilities and surveillance for infectious diseases.
The recently inaugurated CPHL biorepository will act as a national hub for centralized access to priceless, high-quality, and well-annotated samples.
Additionally, it enhances operations at the premier public health laboratory, the NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory (NRL), in Abuja, which is home to the largest biorepository in West Africa. It increases the NCDC’s capacity for biobanking.
A biorepository, according to a statement from the NCDC, is a crucial component of preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks because it enables the timely exchange of biological specimens and data as well as research (including public health research) and development.
It went on to say that this CPHL biorepository will give researchers who adhere to the relevant ethical standards quick access to carefully curated biological samples and data.
The samples provided by biorepositories like this one also help with training, confirming proficiency, etc.
The expanded sample storage capacity will aid in the development of diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines as well as integrated disease surveillance, research, and public health decision-making, all of which will lead to a better knowledge of infectious diseases.
The U.S. Consulate’s Consul General Would Stevens was quoted in the release as saying at the commissioning ceremony that “the new facility will enhance Nigeria’s disease control efforts by cataloging and storing blood samples for subsequent use.
“The commissioning is a major accomplishment of the strategic partnership between the United States and Nigeria to support health security and respond to disease threats.”
He expressed hope that Nigeria’s preparedness for upcoming epidemic and pandemic responses will be supported by the enhanced biorepository laboratory.
The NCDC went on to say that good storage of biospecimens obtained for diagnostic and research purposes in both people and animals is a crucial step for facilitating research that will not only improve our capacity for the quick detection and response to newly emerging and reemerging disease outbreaks but also develop therapeutics and vaccines for the nation.
The establishment and upkeep of reference laboratories around the country to assist the precise and prompt identification of infectious diseases was identified as one of the strategic ways to fulfilling the NCDC mandate.