The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has established and equipped an Infectious Disease Care Centre (IDCC) and molecular laboratory at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jalingo, Taraba.
The NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this on Monday in Abuja during the national briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Ihekweazu said that the establishment of the treatment centre and the laboratory was the result of a strong collaboration between the Federal and State Governments.
“This was inaugurated on Feb. 5 by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora.
“The handover was done to the state Ministry of Health and FMC, Jalingo and they are expected to provide leadership and coordination for the use of these resources.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states in Nigeria had limited capacity for the management and detection of infectious diseases.
“In response to this, NCDC has been supporting states in establishing treatment centres and molecular laboratories.
“In the last eight months, four IDCC have been inaugurated across the states,” he said.
Ihekweazu quoted Mamora, while handing over the newly-built treatment centre to FMC, Jalingo, as commending the efforts of NCDC and the management of the medical centre for their determination to see the projects to fruition.
While expressing appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment, he said that at the onset of the pandemic, Nigeria had only four molecular laboratories to test for the virus.
“We now have almost 120 laboratories across the government and private facilities.
“COVID-19 is not sparing us. Rather, it has devastated the lives and livelihood of so many. We are building these structures so that we can be better prepared for future outbreaks and the next pandemic,” he said.
As the country’s national public health institute, the NCDC boss said that the agency had supported states in their preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks.
The support, he said, included facilitating the establishment of diagnostic capacity, public health emergency operations centres as well as training of health workers and rapid responders across states.
“In the last 11 months, NCDC has supported each of the 36 states to activate their testing capacities for COVID-19 to further strengthen the resilience of our health system.
“We are committed to building functional and sustainable structures that will strengthen our national health security, now and in the future.
“This pandemic has challenged us greatly but it has also provided us clarity on what we need to do to secure our future. History will not judge us kindly if we fail to act and act appropriately.