The Anambra government says a laboratory has been established to diagnose cases of monkeypox and other contagious diseases in the state.
Afam Obidike, Commissioner for Health, told journalists that the laboratory’s establishment would shorten the time for investigation of disease outbreaks.
Mr Obidike said the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were assisting the state in activating the laboratory.
He said the laboratory was situated at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka.
According to him, when the lab is completed, it will diagnose diseases like monkeypox, measles and lassa fever and shorten the time of getting results for the investigations.
The commissioner said it was unfortunate that NCDC’s national reference laboratory in Abuja was the only facility in the country with the capacity to diagnose monkeypox cases.
“So far, we have recorded three suspected cases of Monkeypox detected by our disease surveillance units in the local government areas,” stated Mr Obidike. “We are able to detect the first case, and in conjunction with WHO, it was confirmed. For the second case, the result is not out, while we are yet to get the sample of the third case across to the lab in Abuja.”
The commissioner added that the ministry had begun contact tracing in all the recorded cases to contain the spread of the disease.