A private laboratory in Anambra, Accunalysis Diagnostic Centre Ltd., Nnewi accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has began COVID-19 testing in the state.
Speaking to newsmen in Awka on Tuesday, Mr Chijike Agbaka, the managing director of the diagnostic centre disclosed that the centre had already carried out some COVID-19 tests last weekend.
The centre, owned by Chief Calistus Okereke, is equipped to test 100 persons for chemistry, dermatology and molecular diagnosis daily.
Agbaka said: “We are into laboratory testing in areas of chemistry, dermatology but our interest is centered on molecular diagnosis.
“We discovered that it was difficult for researchers and students to carry out their researches in molecular diagnostics.
“NCDC has been to our facility and has found us worthy as one of the testing centers for COVID-19 in Nigeria.”
Agbaka commended Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra for creating the enabling environment for the laboratory centre to contribute its quota to the health sector of the state.
The managing director said the centre had no political affiliation with any group as reported in some social media.
According to him, the centre is owned by an investor, who is passionate about reducing medical tourism in the state.
“There are some guidelines set out by the NCDC for testing; ours is to follow the guidelines which entails that samples are collected by the state government through the Ministry of Health and that our reporting format should go through the state,” he stressed.
Agbaka said the private laboratory would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government over the partnership.
“The procedures and guidelines of NCDC spells out that private laboratory must partner with the state, so that all reporting and samples will be received through the state.
“We have an understanding with the state and very soon, it will be announced by MoU, duly signed by both partners,” he said.
The laboratories at the Onitsha General Hospital and Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Awka, are other COVID-19 testing centres awaiting NCDC’s approval in the state.