The Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, ABUTH, is set to collaborate with the Kaduna State Government to establish a COVID-19 detection centre in Zaria.
Prof. Sani Ibrahim, the Director of Research and Innovations, ABU Zaria, disclosed this during the evaluation of facilities at ABU and ABUTH by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on Wednesday in Zaria.
He said that the ABU was fully prepared for the COVID -19 detection centre and that the university had been working on the detection centre for over two weeks in conjunction with the Kaduna State Government and ABUTH.
“We see it as a challenge and part of our corporate social responsibility.
“If Kaduna State has another centre, it will fast reduce the time taken for someone’s sample to be taken to Abuja for analysis.
“It will also make it cheaper and faster to get results. Early detection is key to the control,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said that the university had noted the concerns of the NCDC, adding that it had also commenced ordering some of the items as required by the NCDC.
“We are hoping that in the next two days, we will be ready for them” he said.
Also, Dr Nnameka Ndomdo, the Chief Bio-molecular Engineer, National Reference Laboratory of the NCDC, said that the agency had been attaching importance to the establishment of a COVID-19 detection centre in Kaduna State.
According to him, the NCDC wants the centre to be established in a state or in a federal public institution, hence the evaluation of the facilities at ABU and ABUTH.
“I see a huge facility available which can be deployed for detection of COVID-19 and even beyond.
“The Center of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases at ABU has many things in place and what remains is just the way they ought to be and get the people ready to start using it.
“It’s an excellent facility that needs to be deployed for good science in Nigeria,’’ he said.
He said that the people working in such facilities should be protected as well as the environment, stressing that the NCDC was strongly emphasising safety of people and the environment.
In his remarks, Dr Hamza Abubakar, the Co-Chair of Kaduna State Emergency Operation Centre for COVID-19 said the Zaria COVID -19 detection centre was a tripartite arrangement among Kaduna State government, ABU and ABUTH.
Abubakar, also the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Board, noted that ABU has a Centre of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Bio-Technology; as such they are advanced in that field.
He added that with the tripartite arrangement, the State Government would tap from the high-level manpower from ABU and ABUTH in its COVID-19 control efforts.