To strengthen Nigeria’s capacity for multiple disease testing and surveillance, the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has donated a Droplet Digital PCR machine to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The machine, which is the first of its kind in the country, is equipped to generate over 20,000 small droplets for multiple disease testing and carry out surveillance using wastewater as well as other sources to provide insight into disease hot spots. The equipment from Bio-Rad can also be used in addressing exciting biological research questions.
IHVN Senior Program Officer, Dr, Monday Tola, who handed over the equipment to NCDC, at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, said that diseases including monkey-pox and COVID-19 can be diagnosed using the machine.
“The machine can test 20,000-minute droplets so you won’t miss anything in the laboratory test and it can test multiple diseases at a go,”
NCDC Head of Reference Laboratory, Dr. James Avong, said “This equipment is a new technology that will help in environment and human survey; effluents can be gotten from waste and can be analyzed. By using the machine, we will be able to identify the different strains of COVID through waste. Also, when there is also an outbreak of any new disease, this equipment will enable us to detect it fast. For us at NCDC it is a breakthrough to have this equipment, we are going to utilize it as much as possible in surveillance and prompt response to diseases.”
After the installation of the equipment by LASEC, more than 20 laboratory engineers and technicians from APIN Global Health Initiatives, NCDC, and IHVN received a two-day training on its use. The training featured practical sessions on utilizing the machine.
The PCR machine was bought with funding support from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).