The country has blazed a trail in Africa with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) successfully validating the first phase of the viral Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) extraction which should enable local production of cheap testing kits for coronavirus.
The validation took place on Thursday in the laboratory of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in Abuja.
The Director-General of NABDA, Prof. Alex Akpa, told reporters after the exercise that the success of the validation was important not only to Nigeria but Africa as a whole.
He also recalled that the absence of the same reagent equally stalled COVID-19 diagnosis in Lagos for many days.
He disclosed that that the project was a Pan-African project whose partners include Ethiopia, NCDC and the University of Sheffield, U.K., among others with funding to come from African Development Bank.
Dr Ndodo Nnaemeka, Chief Molecular Bioengineer, National Reference Laboratory of NCDC, said he was mandated by the NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, to “launch this wonderful project.’’
According to Nnaemeka, the project is designed to solve the problem of RNA extraction kit which had become a global issue.