BY CHIOMA OBINNA
Peptic ulcer patients and other Nigerians suffering from related diseases can heave a sigh of relief following the procurement of the latest diagnostic equipment by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, to fast-track treatment of the disorders.
The equipment, donated by the Alexander Von Humboldt-Foundation to support quality healthcare in Nigeria, include an Ultra low refrigerator and Refrigerated Eppendorf Micro-centrifuge 5430R for isolating DNA, RNA and proteins and to select bacterial cells.
At the official hand over last week, Director General of NIMR, Prof Innocent Ujah said the equipment would be used to select bacterial cells such as Helicobacter pylori, a common cause of peptic ulcers.
Ujah who regretted the alarming rate of misdiagnosis in the country due to inadequate equipment, said one of the benefits of the newly acquired advanced medical diagnostic machine is that “It will help us get our DNA right and at the appropriate condition.”
“Diagnosing peptic ulcer in this part of the world has remained a problem. But with this machine in place, the bacteria that cause it, which is Helicobacter Pylori, when discovered, will be treated accordingly. Peptic disorder is a big problem in Nigeria and if its bacteria can be isolated and characterized, we can solve it.
The equipment identifies all types of Helicobacter Pylori present in a patient. NIMR collaborate with the hospitals, they do an endoscope, pick stomach biopsies and bring samples here for analysis.”
Head of Division, NIMR’s Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Dr. Stella Smith, explained that the “DNA we are isolating is specific to Helicobacter Pylori and could also be used for parasites and viruses. This equipment would also help us get our DNA right”.
Smith said Ultra low refrigerator would serve as bacteria bank which would help store the organisms at a longer period for further several other analyses.