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Another page of the history of Redeemer’s University was written on Monday 22nd May, 2017 as Redeemer's University African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on infectious disease surveillance and control with the Lagos State Government.
The major objectives of collaboration are for ACEGID to build Lagos State capacity in the field of genomics, especially as it applies to infectious disease diagnostics and also to strengthen Lagos State Capability in outbreaks and epidemics preparedness.
Speaking at the event, the Lagos State Honourable Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jide Idris said that the need for the state to build up its research capability in disease surveillance, diagnosis, prevention, control and elimination of infectious diseases, has led to the signing of MoU. Especially, with the university being a centre of excellence for genomics of infectious diseases.
He highlighted that the long-standing relationship between Ikorodu General Hospital (IGH) in Lagos State, and Redeemer's University ACEGID was a major impetus in the signing of the MoU.
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Redeemer’s University, Professor Debo Adeyewa, recounted the timely and central role of the university in the 2014 Ebola virus disease epidemic in the Nigeria which led to rapid and successful containment, of the disease in the country. He noted with satisfaction that Redeemer’s University, through the efforts of Professor Christian Happi and his research team, did the diagnosis and confirmation of the first index case of the disease. In addition, they provided all the needed laboratory diagnosis support for EVD in all other suspected cases during the epidemic and thereafter.
Professor Adeyewa acknowledged that ACEGID has successfully established a network of pathogens hunters in Nigeria, and the African continent, by training scientists in the field of genomics and establishing infrastructures in various countries. He stated that though the achievements of the university were under reported, the contributions of the university could not longer be undermined in the field of Health Sciences with major pathogens discovered and innovative diagnostics tools developed in the past three years. For instance, Redeemer’s University ACEGID researchers discovered two novel Rhabdoviruses (EKV-1 and EKV-2). The centre had also developed and patented two rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for diagnosis of Lassa fever virus or Ebola virus in biological fluids. WHO and the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) have approved the Ebola virus RDT for use during epidemics.
He explained that these RDT kits detect the presence of the virus in ten minutes as against the conventional molecular assay which detects the virus in three hours.