The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi (ATBUTH) has processed over 1,600 samples of Lassa Fever test requests received from five states of the country.
At the centre of this feat is the Molecular, Genetics and Infectious Diseases Research/ Diagnostic Laboratory of the hospital constructed about two years ago with funding from the COVID-19 Intervention Fund.
The Chief Medical Director of ATBUTH, Professor Yusuf Jibrin Bara disclosed this in an interview with our journalists in Bauchi.
Professor Bara said the laboratory obtained NCDC certification to diagnose LASSA Fever in the state as well as in the neighbouring states of Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, plateau and Jigawa.
He said over 1600 suspected Lassa samples were processed at the laboratory with Bauchi state accounting for about 1400 samples, Gombe 300 and other states accounting for about 100 samples.
“Collaborative research is ongoing in the laboratory, particularly with WHO on COVID-19 and Lassa fever clinical trials.
“The Laboratory collaborates alongside Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University and foreign partners from the University of Nebraska, Miami School of Medicine, USA and Finishtech University, Cameroon where postgraduate training will be conducted for the award of masters and PhD Degrees,” the Chief Medical Director said.
He said the laboratory processed over 8,000 COVID-19 test samples.
WikkiTimes gathered that the samples were received from states in the Northeast and Northcentral.
“This facility was established in June 2020 and funded from the special COVID-19 intervention fund and ATBU through TETfund. The laboratory is among the NCDC-accredited laboratory network for COVID-19 testing. It has a testing capacity of about Two Hundred (200) suspected samples per day.
“As of today, over eight thousand (8000) suspected COVID-19 samples were processed at the facility,” he said.
The Chief Medical Director said during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a total shortage of oxygen supply in the country, the Hospital management came up with an oxygen plant to address the challenge of oxygen demand of the Hospital.
He said some part of the COVID-19 intervention fund was utilized to purchase a cryogenic oxygen plant which can produce liquid oxygen and a capacity of 1600m³ (equivalent to 245 cylinders) of gaseous oxygen per day.
Professor Bara added, “In addition, the FH1360 which is a USAID-funded NGO in collaboration with the Federal ministry of health had selected our Hospital to be among the beneficiary of 20,000litres capacity cryogenic liquid oxygen tank which can be utilized to store the excess liquid Oxygen produced.”
He said the oxygen plant could supply Medical Oxygen to the entire Northeast region at a much lower rate than what is currently obtained in from private suppliers.