Redeemer’s University Build Test Kits to Detect Ebola
To build Lagos State capacity in the field of genomics, Redeemer’s University African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on infectious disease surveillance and control with the Lagos State Government.
The main objectives of the collaboration was for ACEGID to build the state’s capacity in the field of genomics, especially as it applies to infectious disease diagnostics and also to strengthen Lagos State capability in outbreaks and epidemics preparedness.
Speaking at the event, the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said that the need for the state to build up its research capability in disease surveillance, diagnosis, prevention, control and elimination of infectious diseases, has led to the partnership “especially, with the university being a centre of excellence for genomics of infectious diseases.”
He highlighted that the long-standing relationship between Ikorodu General Hospital (IGH) Lagos, and Redeemer’s University ACEGID was a major impetus in the signing of the MoU.
Vice chancellor of the institution, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, in his response recalled the timely and central role of the university in the wake of the 2014 Ebola outbreak which led to rapid and successful containment of the disease in the country.
According to him, the institution has successfully established a network of pathogens hunters in Nigeria, and the African continent, by training scientists in the field of genomics and establishing infrastructures in various countries.
“For instance, Redeemer’s University ACEGID researchers discovered two novel Rhabdoviruses (EKV-1 and EKV-2). The centre had also developed and patented two rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for diagnosis of Lassa fever virus or Ebola virus in biological fluids. WHO and the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) have approved the Ebola virus RDT for use during epidemics. These RDT kits detect the presence of the virus in ten minutes as against the conventional molecular assay which detects the virus in three hours,” he explained.