UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS OFFICIALLY LISTED AS A WHO MALARIA RAPID DIAGNOSIS LOT TESTING PLATFORM FOR NIGERIA
The World Health Organization, Geneva (WHO) in her press release of 29 November officially listed the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI) CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR MALARIA DIAGNOSIS, University of Lagos as a lot testing platform for the country. The National Institute for Malaria research (NIMR) INDIA was listed along with UNILAG to provide this unique service in her 29th November 2017 Press Release in Geneva,Switzerland(http://www.who.int/malaria/news/2017/rdt-lot-testing/en/)
The Institute for Tropical diseases, Philippines will undertake testing for the remaining part of the world as she has played this role in the last ten years.
The note from the WHO Press Release reads:
“WHO has commissioned annual independent, external quality laboratory assessments of the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), New Delhi, India and the ANDI Centre of Excellence for Malaria Diagnosis, University of Lagos, Nigeria and these laboratories are compliant with WHO malaria RDT lot testing standard operating procedures. These laboratories will be conducting lot verification for RDT batches imported into their respective countries”
The listing of UNILAG to provide quality assurance on malaria diagnosis test kits is strategic as Nigeria still remains one of the countries with the highest burden in Africa and needed this platform to support the effective diagnosis and treatment of malaria.
The ANDI Centre of Excellence for Malaria Diagnosis was so designated in 2011 by the WHO-established AFRICAN NETWORK FOR DRUG AND DIAGNOSTIC INNOVATION now based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, among over 120 applications that were received from African Institutions and has had an established trajectory working with WHO on the quality of malaria diagnostic in the last 10 years. This facility has been assessed on two good occasions by WHO on quality Management System (QMS) and is ready to be assessed to obtain ISO 15189 certification. Currently, the Centre maintains a unique Malaria Specimen Bank currently domiciled at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Idi-Araba. This platform has the highest number of WHO-Certified Malaria Microscopists in a single institution in Africa, and next to Philippines in Asia. This facility works closely with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) of the Federal Ministry of Health, Developmental Partners Nationally and Internationally, State governments, mostly the Lagos State Ministry of Health, and private organizations by supporting, strengthening malaria case management, surveillance and diagnostic implementation.
The Centre has also successfully conducted two clinical trials (that included the first urine malaria test currently in the market) giving her quality management system that meets regulatory and other international governance on clinical trials. This platform has managed over N500 Million Malaria Research Fund since its designation and is currently working in the research and development space for new diagnostic tests for malaria, strengthening effective malaria diagnosis by providing national and international leadership in malaria diagnosis, surveillance of malaria nationally and in the states, promoting access to rapid malaria testing, providing capacity building support for organizations and health professionals, provision of external quality assurance for malaria diagnosis among other programmes and services.
The Principal Researcher is Prof. Wellington A. Oyibo, a Consultant Medical Parasitologist who serves in the WHO’s Global Steering Committee on Malaria Rapid Tests Evaluation, WHO Knowledge Expert in the Essential Medicines Department, specifically the Diagnostic Pre-Qualification Unit, Geneva, Switzerland, national expert among others. Several doctoral, Residents, Masters candidates, undergraduates and health professionals across the country have been trained in this Centre.
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