Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Plateau State Human Virology Research Centre (PLASVIREC) laboratory has gotten international accreditation from the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in recognition of its standard medical laboratory science practices and procedures. PLASVIREC was initiated for the implementation of HIV surveillance, research, testing, and prevention activities in Nigeria, as well as Early Infant Diagnosis, molecular techniques, clinical trials, cohort studies and provision of technical support/training.
Speaking at the technical briefing on the significance of the accreditation to laboratory practice and public health programmes in the nation, the Senior Programme Officer of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), Sophia Osawe, said the accreditation means that results from the laboratory is comparable to any other from standard laboratories across the world.
Osawe, who led the efforts for the accreditation, said they prepared the facility to attain this standard through programmes involving several trainings, workshops and mentoring in collaboration with the African Society of Laboratory Medicine.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, International Research Centre of Excellence and Co-founder PLASVIREC, Professor Alash’le Abimiku, said PLASVIREC is a state-of-art diagnostic and research facility, adding that they have overtime deepened their processes such as the collection of patients sample, interpretation of tests results, HIV testing, CD4 and viral load estimation.
According to her, early infant diagnosis of HIV, tuberculosis diagnosis and other medical emergencies were reviewed and improved upon over several years to enable the achievement of the feat.
She explained that PLASVIREC was the third public health laboratory in the country to gain the accreditation, after the Centre for Human Virology and Genomics and (at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research) and the Jos University Teaching Hospital laboratory which have also been endorsed internationally through such accreditation.
In his remarks, IHVN Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Patrick Dakum, said the heart-warming accreditation was through the South African National Accreditation Systems (SANAS), and commended IHVN and PLASVIREC staff who worked diligently to ensure that the laboratory gains international recognition.
The Plateau State government, which was elated that the state had two of the four excellent laboratories in Nigeria, pledged to give all needed support for the labs to operate at their maximum capacities.
Represented by Mizim Dagung, a pharmacist, the state enjoined its citizens to take advantage of the standard laboratories in the state to screen themselves and get treated of any ailment that may be troubling them.