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Molecular Research: NCDC Inspects UNIZIK Laboratory For Accreditation


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has sent an accreditation team to the campus of Nnamdi Azikiwe University to assess its Molecular Research Laboratory for optimisation and accreditation.

In a statement, Mr. Bright Anyanwu, the Secretary, College of Health Sciences, Nnewi Campus of the university, said that the team was being led by Mr. Adeleye Adesola. He stated that the visit to the institution, from the 24th to the 28th of May, was a basic step in the accreditation process for the approval of the research centre as a site for COVID-19 testing.

Mr. Anyanwu explained that the approval would create an opportunity for the research laboratory to become a centre for the detection of other pathogens such as Lassa fever virus and monkey pox virus. He stated that the molecular research laboratory was the most equipped laboratory within the university and added that it was a milestone achievement in the history of the College of Health Sciences in the campus.

“Some of the activities performed by the NCDC team during the accreditation programme are the validation of the Real-time PCR machine and real time PCR kits. Calibration and certification of two class II biosafety cabinets, introduction of a proper unidirectional workflow for all laboratories within the centre and staff training on biosafety and biosecurity were also performed. Training on proper use of PPEs; sample collection; sample reception and processing; equipment use and maintenance as well as inspection of basic facilities within the centre were also performed.”

He said that the research centre had been set up in line with the Project200 Policy made by Professor Charles Esimone, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, to expedite cutting edge research in the biomedical sciences.

According to him, research at the centre can be conducted in virology including, Virus Isolation; Molecular Biology; Immunology including Vaccinology; vaccine antigenicity and immunogenicity assays. He said that the other areas of research that would be conducted at the centre were cancer research; parasite culture for vaccine and drug discoveries; cell culture; cytotoxicity assay and cell viability assay.

Mr. Anyanwu further explained that environmental research, including waste water studies and isolation of viruses and their genomes from waste water; toxicology and biobanking services would also be researched at the centre. He clarified that the centre also has a diagnostic laboratory section for high tech routine analysis, “The molecular laboratory is equipped with high tech pieces of equipment such as real time PCR machine, automated nucleic acid extractor, photo documentation system, incubators and fridge for waste water studies.”

Mr. Anyanwu stated that the university had equipped the laboratory with solar powered inverters and a standby generator in order to ensure an adequate power supply. The molecular research laboratory had been established by the university management to serve the university community and promote cutting edge research among staff and training of Postgraduate students.