31st May, 2022
By Abujah Racheal
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has dismissed insinuation that Nigeria has laboratories where monkeypox virus is generated.
The NCDC gave the clarifications via its official website on Tuesday, as the country continued to report sporadic cases of monkeypox since January 2022.
According to the report by ANI/Sputnik, the Russian Parliamentary Commission for investigating the work of US biological laboratories in Ukraine is planning to discuss information from the Russian Defense Ministry regarding alleged US-controlled laboratories in Nigeria.
Igor Kirillov, Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force, was quoted as alleging that, “there are four US-controlled biological laboratories operating in Nigeria.
“The commission intends to discuss the defense ministry’s information about the possible involvement of US bio laboratories in the emergence of monkeypox”.
However, the NCDC said that the statement was not backed by any evidence.
It said the designation and activities of Nigerian public health laboratories are known to the supervising authorities, adding that most of the laboratories having been procured and set up by the Federal Government in the 36 states and FCT for diagnostic purposes, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases.
“Some other laboratories are dedicated to the very successful HIV control programme, managed by the Federal Government and her partners, based on larger and longstanding bilateral and multilateral cooperation in public health, including prevention, diagnosis, surveillance and control of diseases.
“As a rule, Nigeria welcomes scientific cooperation with all foreign countries, and has received material support from the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan etc, and also discussed vaccine production with Russia.
“Collaboration between Nigeria and the United States has provided opportunities for technical assistance, capacity building, provision of equipment and field hospitals at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and funds to support health programmes, like HIV/AIDS, malaria elimination,” the agency said.