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Mamora lauds NIMR as it unveils Lassa, yellow fever diagnostic kits

By NAN
18 September 2021   |   8:47 am
Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, has commended the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) for unveiling Lassa and yellow fever diagnostic kits...

Unveiling of Lassa fever, yellow fever diagnostic kits at the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Lagos.

Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, has commended the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) for unveiling Lassa and yellow fever diagnostic kits to enhance the diagnosis of the diseases in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the kits are to enhance the diagnosis of the diseases.

Speaking at the inauguration of the kits on Friday, in Lagos, Mamora described the diagnostic kits as a ground breaking achievement in the treatment of Lassa and yellow fever.

Other projects inaugurated by the Minister included the Drug discovery and Toxicology laboratory, Food safety laboratory and e-Library/Administration building.

Mamora noted that the NIMR had continued to impact the promotion of healthcare delivery in the country through some of its research work.

“What we are witnessing here shows a system that is working and the government is proud of the institute because this giant stride will continue to aid research in the country.

“Early diagnosis is key and extremely critical to prompt treatment of diseases such as yellow fever and Lassa fever that are of public health concern to Nigeria.

“Diagnosis is the most important step in the management of a patient because you cannot treat what you don’t know.

“Yellow fever and Lassa fever, over the years, had resulted in many causalities due to late diagnosis, but measures like this will make diagnosis tools readily available around the country,” he said.

The Minister also commended NIMR for the Drug discovery and Toxicology laboratory, Food safety laboratory, the e-Library and Administration building.

Earlier, Prof. Babatunde Salako, the Director-General of NIMR, said the projects were part of the institute’s mandate to conduct research into diseases of public health importance and develop human and infrastructural capacities.

Salako said the projects were supported by the Federal Government’s Intervention Fund to further increase the institute’s research capacity.

“Our country continues to experience a regular outbreak of Lassa fever and yellow fever even during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in enormous morbidity and mortality among Nigerians.

“Lack of effective tools for the diagnosis of the diseases in the country has led to misdiagnosis, as in other febrile illness such as typhoid and Malaria.

“In order to make case detection easy and timely, our researchers have once again developed homegrown diagnostic kits for both diseases.

“The kits have been validated in-house and also by the Centre for Zoonosis and Human Virology of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

“The yellow fever kit has a sensitivity and specificity of 84 per cent and 100 percent respectively, while the Lassa fever kits has sensitivity and specificity of 72 per cent and 100 percent respectively,” Salako said.

Salako added that the newly commissioned laboratories would improve the standard of healthcare service in the area of drug discovery and toxicology, as well as food safety.