Nigeria: ACEGID, Two Others Emerge WHO Reference Centres in Nigeria, SA As Research Laboratories

29 September 2020

As the search for solutions to Covid-19 and other world's deadliest diseases continue, the World Health Organization(WHO) and African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) have selected Redeemer's University African Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases(ACEGID), Nigeria; South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) and Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa, as specialized continental reference sequencing research laboratories for emerging pathogens.

According to the World Health Organization's Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the centres have been given the mandate to lead Africa sequencing efforts for Covid-19 viruses and other emerging pathogens; serve as continental reference centers for research, innovation and training in infectious disease and bioinformatics. In addition, these reference centers are also mandated to develop and validate test kits; support lab accreditation and quality assurance process.

Dr. Moeti explained that the three specialized regional reference centers will be providing services to countries without sequencing capacity in Africa.

She further stated that the global multilateral health regulatory body has requested for permission from both Nigerian and South African Health Ministries to allow shipping of Covid-19 samples from all African countries to the designated specialized regional reference sequencing laboratories in their respective countries.

She assured the two national health ministries of both the support of WHO and ACDC in providing logistics towards sequencing of Covid-19 and other emerging pathogens' samples. While responding to this major development and breakthrough, Redeemer's University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Akinlo has eulogized the ACEGID research team for their resilience, bravery and commitment to excellence towards delivery of cutting-edge science, which has made the centre a reference point not only in Africa but among its peers globally.

He stated that in spite of massive proliferation of molecular laboratories across African countries, the centre has continued to reinforce its leadership position in the continent. He charged them to continue to stay focus as a world's leading genomic research centre that others will be benchmarking when it comes to cutting-edge science.

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