The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has pledged to assist the University of Lagos (UNILAG) with equipment to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
NCDC’s Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the pledge in a letter addressed to the university on Aug. 16, a copy of which made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
The university had earlier appealed to NCDC for support in the area of provision of Infrared thermometer, alcohol-based hand sanitisers and other materials necessary to stave COVID-19.
It also requested for vitamins supplements as well as oxygen concentrators for patients who needed oxygen on their way to nearby isolation centre.
The university equally requested for the provision of Personal Protection Equipment, Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits for screening at its medical centre, and the provision a Polymerase Chain Reaction machine for use in confirming COVID-19 positive cases.
NCDC’s letter, addressed to the vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, was also in response to the report of cases of COVID-19 in the university.
According to Dr Ihekweazu, COVID-19 is likely to remain active for longer than anticipated and long-term measures needed to put in place to mitigate against its transmission within the university community.
“We appreciate all the efforts your institution is making toward managing and controlling the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in your institution.
“We equally acknowledge the proactive measures taken by the management of UNILAG in the interest of the university community’s health and that of the public toward curtailing and interrupting the spread of this disease within the university.
“As we make deliberate efforts at interrupting transmission within the institution, we must not forget the long-term effects of measures taken, such as university closure,’’ the NCDC letter read.
In further response to the requests, NCDC’s director-general advised UNILAG to request for oxygen concentrators from the Director of Hospital Services at the Federal Ministry of Health, but assured that NCDC would provide the university with two of the equipment for a start.
He also stated that the setting up of a molecular laboratory as requested by the university was very complex and beyond the provision of a PCR machine, noting, however that the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital has a molecular laboratory.
“The molecular laboratory could be used in the interim while long-term plans would be made to optimise UNILAG to own a molecular laboratory,’’ he said.
The director-general pledged 100 pieces of infrared thermometer, two pulse oximeters. 2,000 (60ml) bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, 4,000 face shields, 4,000 protective gowns, 10,000 medical face masks and 4,000 RDT kits among others.
“As we take proactive steps in the control of COVID-19, we encourage adherence to public health and safety measures in ways that appeal to the youth to limit the transmission.
“’Our communication team may work with you to support you in this area,’’ Dr Ihekweazu stated.