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Virologist Emphasizes Persistent Investment in COVID-19 Infrastructure Maintenance

By Faridat Salifu

In an interview on Monday, January 8, 2024, in Abuja, Professor Oyewale Tomori, Chairman of the Board of Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, underscored the crucial need for continuous investment in COVID-19 infrastructure maintenance across Nigeria.

He emphasized the importance of evaluating and sustaining existing facilities, such as specially equipped isolation wards, laboratories, and oxygen production factories, to ensure their ongoing effectiveness.

Prof. Tomori stressed the significance of regular funding to support the maintenance of these facilities, including the integration of Emergency Operations Centers with existing epidemiology divisions.

Essential activities such as transportation, field investigation, sample shipment, and the provision of laboratory reagents and diagnostics were also highlighted as requiring consistent funding.

He emphasized that maintaining sustained and effective disease surveillance demands adequate recurrent funding, and prioritizing prevention measures proves more cost-effective than outbreak control.

Prof. Tomori called on all levels of government to recognize the importance of ongoing vigilance in disease prevention, urging timely allocation of sufficient funds for disease surveillance activities.

The virologist noted the importance of investing in preventive measures and maintaining a focus on early disease detection and response.

He highlighted Nigeria’s capacity development during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, including training for frontline healthcare workers and the establishment of operational laboratories by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

Additionally, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with various partners, played a crucial role in decentralizing testing and conducting regular national case reviews.

Prof. Tomori’s call for continued maintenance of COVID-19 infrastructure underscores the ongoing necessity for sustained investment in public health infrastructure.

This investment is crucial for effectively addressing future health crises and ensuring the safety and well-being of the Nigerian population.


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