Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji on Wednesday, inaugurated a zonal public health laboratory capable of testing and diagnosing any form of communicable diseases, with a call for greater attention for public health facilities.
Speaking during the official commissioning of the facility at located within the premises of Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, the Governor said the facility is a product of the partnership between Ekiti State Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to provide and ensure timely and precise diagnosis of diseases.
Governor Oyebanji, who said the Public Health Laboratory will be a facility for diagnosing communicable diseases which may constitute public health threat to people of Ekiti and neighbouring states, said the facility will serve Ekiti and other Southwest states as well as Kogi and Kwara states.
The Governor further explained that the facility is well equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment and will be managed by experienced and well qualified laboratory personnel, scientists and epidemiologists.
While commending the state’s health care system which is adjudged best performing diseases surveillance team in Nigeria for the year 2022, the Governor assured Ekiti people of timely diagnosis of diseases and reduction in the turnaround time of sample results and efficient, timely data that will serve as a database for the laboratory surveillance of epidemics prone diseases in the state.
“We can be assured of timely diagnosis of diseases and reduction in the turnaround time of sample results. In addition to this is the efficient and timely generation of data that will serve as a database for laboratory surveillance of epidemic-prone diseases in the state.”
“As you may already know, our state public health system is robust and was adjudged the best performing disease surveillance team in Nigeria for the year 2022. To complement the new laboratory” said the Governor.
The Governor also informed the gathering that in a bid to complement the new laboratory, his government has also established public health emergency operation centres in each of the 16 local Government areas of the state. This is in addition to putting in place, a multi hazard preparedness plan for all public health emergencies.
While appreciating the leadership of the Nigeria Centre for disease Control for the laudable partnership with the state, the Governor prayed that the health of Ekiti people and the neighbouring states will be better secured with the establishment of the laboratory.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa commended the state surveillance team for their efforts at ensuring effective and efficient control of communicable diseases in the state through proactive and rapid responses to outbreaks.
Dr Adetifa noted that as part of the surveillance responsibility of NCDC, the Centre had started the process of digitalizing the surveillance system in the country using the platform called Surveillance Outbreak Response Management Analysis System (SORMA).
He added that the idea behind the whole surveillance system was that SORMA would be deployed in every health facility and laboratory nationally to have efficient digital awareness in terms of what is going on in Epidemiology of the diseases that were rampant in the country.
The NCDC boss said “As far as surveillance and SORMA project is concerned, Ekiti state has done very well, in fact the Ekiti state Epidemiology team, at our last meeting of all surveillance parties from the states, left with the award of the best performing state in terms of what they do with surveillance”.
Also, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani appreciated the Governor and everyone who worked so hard at ensuring that the laboratory become a reality.
Dr Filani then said that the laboratory is a guarantee that there is no ailment anywhere that cannot be diagnosed and be treated here in Ekiti.
Also at the event were the Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Teju Okuyiga; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro; Head of Service, Barr. Bamidele Agbede; Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Banji Filani and members of the state executive council.