Canadian governor-general lauds Lagos for containing Ebola outbreak in 2014

• Says state now better equipped to handle new outbreak
• Commissions biosecurity lab, biobank

The Governor-General of Canada, Julie Payette, yesterday commended Lagos State government for managing and containing the spread of Ebola when there was an outbreak in 2014.

Payette, who noted that if not for the swift action of the government, having an outbreak in a city like Lagos with high population density would have done so much damage if it were not quickly contained.

She, however, said that if for any reason another Ebola case is identified, the state is ready and better equipped to handle any new case, especially with the launch of the new biosecurity laboratory and biobank at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba. She said that the Canadian government committed about 4.5 million Canadian dollars into the design, construction and installation of the biobank and biological laboratory.

“The biobank will have the capacity to process and rapidly identify samples suspected for Ebola, Lassa fever and other infectious diseases with epidemic potential,” Payette said. The biosecurity laboratory, funded by Canada through its Global Partnership Programme (GPP) in partnership with Lagos State, will serve as a single repository for all high-concentration pathogens. The lab, it is said, will also help the state and Nigeria to mitigate post-EVD threats and build capacity for prevention, detection and response to future outbreak in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who commended the Canadian government for the partnership that gave birth to the laboratory and bank, said: “With this biolab, public healthcare in our state has been raised to another level and it is to the benefit of our people. We are very clear in our mind that this facility will help our public health practitioners to promptly diagnose diseases of public health importance and boost the clinical management of such outbreak.”He said that with the laboratory and biobank, there would be effective and critical management of highly infectious diseases as well as fast-tracking researches.

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EbolaJulie Payette
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