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Nigeria centre named African Reference Laboratory for genome research by WHO

African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of infectious disease ( ACEGID), Redeemer’s University Ede, Osun State has been named as one of the regional repository and bio-informatics centres by the World Health Organization and Africa centre for disease control to provide data analysis and other technical support services to countries where they are located and to neighbouring countries as well as other countries in their sub-regions. This new development was announced on Thursday September 10 by the World Health Organization and the Africa centre for disease country through a press release announcing the launch of a network of laboratories to re-inforce genome sequencing of the severe acute respiratory syndrome  (SARS- COV-2), the virus which causes Covid-19 in Africa.Matshidiso Moeti the WHO Regional Director for Africa said  “As the effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa continues, being able not only to track it evolution but also be able to assess the possible mutation of the virus which is crucial to mounting an effective response to bringing the virus under control. According to him, the new laboratory network dedicated to genome sequencing can better develop vaccines and treatment which are tailored to Africans and eventually bring Covid-19 under control.

He further stated that being a reference laboratory on the continent, they have a mandate to support the fifty-four African countries in their quest for infectious disease research capacity development and training.

According to Mr Happi, this meant a lot more work for the laboratory, pressure and responsibility, he said “The reality is that it means more work for us as we now we have an African/global mandate, this means that we have to operate at a different level, set standards, be a role model for every other laboratory on the continent ” He also added that ACEGID has to live up to this by playing it role as a leader on the continent and one of the leaders globally. 

While responding to the question on the capability of ACEGID to perform these functions, Mr Happi said that Africa CDC and WHO had conducted an extensive assessment of facilities and capacities across continent. This assessment had brought about the naming of the various laboratories which makes up the network of laboratories.

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