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UNILORIN VC seeks upgrade of molecular lab to public health lab



UNILORIN VC seeks upgrade of molecular lab to public health lab

Prof. Wahab Egbewole

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, SAN, has solicited the support of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to upgrade the university’s Molecular Laboratory (MDRL) to a Public Health Laboratory (PHL).

ROYAL NEWS reports that the request was due to the emergence of Diphtheria and growing concerns over the downplay of the public health significance of COVID-19.

Prof. Egbewole, stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, at the agency’s Abuja office, said the upgrade is of paramount importance because of other infections outbreaks such as Lassa fever and Diphtheria in the country.

While observing that the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one additional growing threat to man requiring molecular approaches to curb if Nigeria must not return to pre-antibiotic era, the legal luminary also identified poliomyelitis as another infection of public health concern that remains a challenge to the country and can be handled if the status of the institution’s laboratory is upgraded.

The VC who is also the Secretary General of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU), pointed out that a support to the University of Ilorin laboratory in the proposed upgrade will bring the University and NCDC to a global focus on the subject by providing the platform for cutting edge research that will have the potential of significantly reducing the burden of communicable disorders.

UNILORIN VC seeks upgrade of molecular lab to public health lab

Egbewole, however, announced that with the NCDC support, the University of Ilorin Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory (MDRL) has processed about 1,300 COVID-19 samples since its commissioning on June 2, 2021 and significantly contributed to efficient management of the disease outbreak both on campus and in Kwara State as a form of service to humanity.

He also stated that a University of Ilorin’s team of researchers in collaboration with the NCDC have co-authored a manuscript entitled “SARS-COV-2 Variants-Associated Outbreaks of COVID-19 in a Nigerian Tertiary Institution, North Central Nigeria: Implications for Epidemic Control”.

Adding that, the manuscript is to be published any moment from now in PLOS ONE, a Q1 journal.
He said, “I am happy to inform you that with continued TETFund support, our molecular lab (MDRL) recently acquired an Illumina Sequencer (Illumina MiSeq System).

The equipment is useful for a wide range of molecular research and pleads for your further assistance/collaboration in putting the equipment to most effective use in terms of consumables supply and inclusion on the National Sequence Surveillance Networks of the NCDC.

Egbewole had earlier celebrated the DG of NCDC who is an alumnus of the University of Ilorin on his appointment. “We are dead sure that you will further propel the glory of your alma mater. We pray for God’s guidance and tremendous achievements in your service to the nation”, he submitted.

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