The management of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has announced the accreditation of its Centre for Human Virology and Genomics (CHVG) as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Prequalification Evaluating Laboratory.
Disclosing the feat to news men during a press conference at the institute’s auditorium, Thursday, the Director General, Professor Babatunde Salako noted that the NIMR’s Laboratory is the first to obtain such approval in West Africa.
The import of the achievement, said the DG “is that the laboratory is now listed as a WHO Prequalification Evaluating Laboratory to perform evaluation of In Vitro Diagnostics either coordinated by WHO or commissioned by the manufacturers”.
For Nigerians, he explained that the attainment of this WHO’s recognition will bring about a reduction in cases of misdiagnosis, as the institute has got capacity to determine best rapid test kits for the populace among all the kits imported into the country for testing of HIV, Hepatitis B and C.
Narrating the approval procedures, Salako noted how the laboratory initially applied for the WHO Prequalification in May 2017 but was turned down due to some identified non-conformances which were fixed, and on their next visit to the institution, the WHO Geneva auditing team re-audited the laboratory on 22 January 2018, and after careful examination, the auditors were satisfied with corrective actions, thereafter declared the CHVG as a WHO Evaluating Laboratory.
The enlisting of the CHVG’s laboratory as a WHO Prequalification Evaluating Laboratory makes the total number of such laboratories ten the world over. They are located in eight countries of the world namely, Australia, Belgium, France, India, Nigeria, South Africa (20, Tanzania and United Kingdom (2).
The Deputy Director of Research, NIMR, Dr Rosemary Audu, noted another merit of the achievement, which is medical tourism. She said this will drastically bring about reduction in people travelling abroad over medical diagnosis, as they can rely on medical results from NIMR’s CHVG’s laboratory as authentic.