Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Thursday inaugurated a Molecular and Diagnostic Laboratory in Aba to boost the state government’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the event, Ikpeazu expressed delight over the actualisation of the project.
The laboratory was installed via a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the government and Abia Development Summit (ADS).
The governor said that the facility would enhance the people’s access to quality health care services.
“I pray that this facility will bring hope, succour and also restore the health of the end users,” he added.
Prof. Sam Erugo, the Chairman of ADS, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), credited the laboratory to the visionary leadership of the Ikpeazu-administration.
“We are ready to be in partnership with the Abia State Government to transform the health sector. This is the first phase and a work in progress,” he said.
Erugo expressed the desire of his organisation “to build a state- of-the-art medical facility” in Abia.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, expressed delight over the completion of the laboratory, saying that it would quicken government’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve.
Osuji said: “Some months ago, we were sending samples for COVID-19 testing to other states. From that period, the state government did everything to address the challenge.
“This led to the building of a molecular laboratory in Amachara and because of the ingenuity of a group of Abia people, the state now has a new molecular laboratory in Aba.
“I am happy that from now onward, the Abia people will no longer send their samples outside the state for testing.”
Earlier, Mr Fred Ogwo, the acting Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government Council, described the molecular laboratory as a laudable project.
He said that the facility would help to curb medical tourism, while addressing issues arising from poor diagnosis.
Ogwo said that the laboratory further demonstrated the state government’s commitment to the transformation of the health sector of the state.
In his remark, Chief Chris Igwe, an industrialist, commended the state government for its support and contributions toward the actualisation of the project.
Igwe urged all stakeholders in Abia to join hands with the government to transform the state.