The United States of America and the Nigerian government have established a medical laboratory for the military in Abuja to press forward research on HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
The laboratory was put together under the Nigeria Ministry of Defence-United States Department of Defence (NMOD-USDOD) HIV Programme. The lab was unveiled yesterday at the Mogadishu military cantonment.
The Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada said during the exercise that the new Defence Reference Laboratory (DRL) was designed to support scientific research and produce laboratory investigation results that will be accepted and respected worldwide. “It is noteworthy that the laboratory which is the hub of other NMOD-USDOD HIV Programme site laboratories has the capacity to carry out several diagnostic investigations outside HIV related examination. I am aware it has acquired state of the art lab equipment and the ability to perform Quantity Assurance and Quality Control process.”
The US Ambassador to Nigeria Terence P. McCulley said lab was financed through the USD $500 million earmarked for the programme. The lab “was the first site used as research facility in the NMOD/USDOD partnership providing essays for research protocol called RV-230, evaluation of feasibility and target populations for HIV vaccine cohort development in Nigeria, to estimate the prevalence of HIV-1 in individuals at selected sites and to determine the potential risk factors associated with HIV infection.”
Chairman of the Emergency Plan Implementation Committee (EPIC) Major General Tahir Umar said the lab will be utilized in combating AIDS/HIV tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases in the Nigerian military which runs care and support programme in the Nigerian militarily medical facilities.