The Federal Government has commissioned and handed over the first #Infectious Disease Centre in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to the management of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital.
The Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire, while commissioning the 40-bed capacity facility in Gwagwalada on Friday, also laid the foundation stone for a 76-bed block Mental Health centre. Ehanire noted that the infectious disease treatment centre would improve Nigeria’s capacity to respond to all infectious diseases in the country.
He also said the IDH model would be replicated in the 36 states of the federation to boost the country’s preparedness at handling infectious disease outbreaks.
“With laboratory testing and case management in one location, there is a much shorter time between sample collection and infection confirmation, which ensures early initiation of treatment and thus mitigate mortality during infectious disease outbreaks’, he said.
“I am very proud that today, we now have an international standard centre where we can manage highly pathogenic infectious disease cases, including critical medical and laboratory equipment”, he said.
Highlighting the importance of the Infectious Disease Centre, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said construction of the project began in 2019 following the outbreak of Lassa fever in 2018.
He noted that the facility, which has a molecular laboratory for the prompt diagnosis of diseases, is also meant to manage other infectious diseases including COVID-19 infection.