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Institute to restore services at fire-gutted national TB, Leprosy lab

ABUJA – The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has said it is working round the clock to provide technical assistance to the National TB and Leprosy Training Centre Kaduna gutted by fire last week.

Vanguard reports that the fire destroyed the entire Bio-Safety Laboratory (BSL) 2 complex, store, media room, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) section, training halls, GeneXpert room and all the offices of the laboratory scientists in the reference laboratory.

The cause of the fire is suspected to be from one of the air conditioners in the BSL2. However, the adjoining building accommodating the BSL3, new Anti-retroviral Treatment laboratory and General Out-patients Department were saved from the inferno.

However, in a statement on Wednesday, IHVN Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Patrick Dakum, said:  “As the implementing partner providing technical assistance and support to the National TB and Leprosy Training Centre Kaduna, we are working to restore diagnostic services at the National TB Reference Laboratory which was gutted by fire.

“The incidence has disrupted delivery of services to multi-drug resistant TB patients in the Center and the analysis of TB samples sent to the Center from many facilities across the country.

“Meanwhile, Biotech Engineers of IHVN, led by Mr. Austin Nzurumike,Manager Biotech, have been deployed to assess the damages incurred as a result of the inferno with the view of restoring services back to the center, which is serving the entire country.

“We are committed to ensuring all the technical assistance needed for restoration of services will be provided at the Center.

“In the meantime, the Federal Ministry of Health’s National TB Program has directed that samples be referred to other laboratories until services at this facility are restored.

“To provide minimal services, the Principal of NTBLTC, Mr. Labaran Shehu, has provided a twin flat of one bedroom each to support BSL3 for continuation of services. However, minor upgrades and provision of equipment such as reagents and consumables will be needed for services to begin.”


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