The Lagos State Government announced it has added Seven Private Laboratories into its testing strategy to expand capacity in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
The approved laboratories are Total Medical services, SynLab, 54 Gene, Medbury Medical Services, Biologix Medical Services, 02 Medical Services, and Clina Lancent Laboratories.
The Lagos Ministry of Health says the labs were selected and approved to carry out tests after, “a rigorous accreditation and validation process by the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) and the Ministry of Health’s Bio-Bank.”
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi announced that the key element in the next phase of the State’s response strategy to COVID-19 is expanding diagnostic testing capacity to strategically ensure a larger number of people have access.
“In a bid to ramp up our testing capacity, we have taken a strategic decision to include private laboratories in the testing of COVID-19,“ Abayomi said.
“However, the state’s COVID-19 response will remain a centrally managed emergency response by the State Government and the need to test will be surveillance driven and based on a clear case definition,“ he added.
He also noted that the private Labs can only conduct PCR tests and stated that the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDT) remains illegal in the State until it can validate the authenticity of the RDTs.
Director of the Lagos State Bio-Bank, Dr. Bamidele Mutiu said the labs were selected because they possess the equipment and expertise to test for COVID-19 within the parameters of their testing strategy.
“The idea is to decentralize testing while maintaining the integrity and regulation of sample collection, testing, and result validation,” he added.