By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC has approved the Akwa Ibom State Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR, laboratory sited at the General Hospital, Ituk Mbang, Uruan local government area for testing for COVID- 19 as well as other infectious diseases.
Leader of the NCDC delegation to the state Mr. Bamidele Oluwafemi commended the State Government for single-handedly building the Isolation centre with the inbuilt Laboratory with Category 3 PCR Machine.
Oluwafemi who spoke during a courtesy visit to Chairman of the state COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government,(SSG) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, described the isolation centre with Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory as one of the best in the country.
He explained that within the period of their stay in the state, the team inspected the facility and carried out training on personnel at the Isolation Centre on how to carry out COVID-19 tests and interpret results.
Oluwafemi stressed that “with the assessment, approval, and activation of the PCR Laboratory, testing Of Samples of Suspected COVID 19 Infected Persons will Commence in the State in few days”
Responding, Ekuwem thanked the NCDC team for their efforts and equally appreciated the state governor for according priority to the health sector of the state, adding that the importance of putting in place adequate health facilities could not be overemphasised.
“Governor Emmanuel has placed the health care of his people as a priority of his administration and has invested heavily in standard health equipment across the entire state.
“On behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, I express our gratitude to the team from the NCDC for visiting our state to painstakingly inspect and evaluate the kind of facility we have put in place at this General Hospital, Ituk Mbang,” Ekuwem said.
In his brief remarks the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong expressed appreciation to the NCDC team for the approval of the laboratory saying that the state would now be able to carry out testing for COVID-19 within its own laboratory.