Daily Trust reports that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says Nigeria has no laboratories where Monkeypox virus is generated.
NCDC Director-General, Ifedayo Adetifa, stated this Tuesday in a statement in response to a report said to have been released by the Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force.
The report alleged that “there are four US-controlled biological laboratories operating in Nigeria”.
It also alleged that “WHO reports that the Monkeypox (MPX) virus responsible for outbreaks in Europe and elsewhere was imported from Nigeria where the United States of America deployed its biological infrastructure. In order words, MPX virus is generated in these laboratories”.
However, NCDC said the statement was not backed by any evidence.
“The designation and activities of Nigerian public health laboratories are known to the supervising authorities, most of the laboratories having been procured and set up by the Federal Government in all 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 program, 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, “ the NCDC said.
It said as a rule, Nigeria welcomed scientific cooperation with all foreign countries, and has received material support from the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and others, and discussed vaccine production with Russia.
It added that collaboration between Nigeria and the United States had 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.