By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Thursday flagged-off a 2-day training programme for medical laboratory scientists on the use of the GeneXpert machine for novel Coronavirus testing.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola
Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force said the training is in furtherance of ongoing efforts to build capacity towards dealing with COVID-19.
The DOPRI said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, represented by the Chief of Staff Tactical Air Command (TAC), Air Commodore Shehu Bakari flaggged-off the training.
He said the CAS described Medical Laboratory Science as one of the key components of any healthcare system, adding that the NAF had made significant investment in terms of procurement of modern medical equipment, infrastructural upgrades as well as capacity building of its laboratory scientists.
“He further stated that, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the NAF deemed it necessary to acquire specialized equipment for COVID-19 testing. This, he said, was done to enable NAF personnel develop requisite skills to boost their testing capability, especially in the operation of the GeneXpert machine, which would be deployed to NAF Hospitals across the Country. According to him, the initiative would help to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the Country. He also reiterated that the GeneXpert machine could be employed in detecting other pathogens such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C as well as Flu viruses.
“Also speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Medical Services, Headquarters NAF, Air Commodore Gideon Bako, stated that the 2-day workshop would undoubtedly enhance the skills of the laboratory scientists in carrying out COVID-19 testing. He expressed optimism that the deployment of GeneXpert machines in some NAF Medical Facilities would go a long way in achieving the overall objectives of quick identification, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 infected persons.
“He therefore charged the participants to make the most of the training and ensure that the knowledge acquired translates to better laboratory services in their respective medical facilities.”