The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has inaugurated a biorepository in Lagos to collect, catalog and store samples of biological materials for laboratory research.
The Director-General, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that the facility has been located at the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL).
NAN reports that the biorepository will manage specimens from animals, plants, and other living organisms.
Adetifa said the facility was provided as part of the agency’s effort of building sustainable systems for health security through strategic partnerships.
He said that the project was supported by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC), through the Institute of Human Virology (IHVN).
The NCDC boss said that the effort would strengthen diagnostic capacity and surveillance for infectious diseases in the country.
He added that one of the strategic approaches to achieving the NCDC mandate was the development and maintenance of reference laboratories across the country.
This, he said, was to support accurate and timely detection of infectious diseases.
He explained that biorepository was an essential element for preparedness and response to infectious disease outbreaks.
“It facilitates timely sharing of biological specimens and data and facilitates research, including public health research and development.
“This biorepository in CPHL will afford researchers that meet the necessary ethical requirements easy access to well-curated biological samples and data.
“The samples made available through biorepositories such as this, also aid training, confirmation of proficiency, etc,” Adefita said.
He added that the additional sample storage capacity would contribute to increased understanding of infectious diseases through integrated disease surveillance and research.
“It will inform public health decision-making and facilitate the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines,” the DG said.
Adetifa stressed that the new biorepository would also serve as a national centralised resource for valuable, high quality and well-annotated samples.
He said it would expand NCDC’s capacity for biobanking and complement its National Reference Laboratory in Abuja, which houses the largest biorepository in West Africa.
Adefita added that the quality of the biospecimens would enhance timely detection and response to emerging and re-emerging disease outbreaks, and in developing therapeutics and vaccines for the country
He appreciated Nigeria’s partnership with US-CDC and the IHVN, saying it has strengthened the capacity for public health laboratory services in Nigeria, among others.