HIV/AIDS

Roche Diagnostics says it has so far equipped 27 Laboratories in Nigeria to ascertain the viral load of HIV patients to further curtail the spread of the dreaded disease.

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Taofik Oloruko-Ola, Country Head Roche, disclosed this at the on-going African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) conference on ”Preventing and Controlling the next pandemic: The role of Laboratory” on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said it had also trained scientists on effective use of the equipment to achieve quality result, adding that the organisation had also trained laboratory scientists to improve their skills.

Oloruko-Ola identified the measure as part of the organisation’s efforts in strengthening health system in the country towards prevention and controlling of the pandemics.

He specifically noted that through the efforts, the organisation turned out 800,000 results annually out of 1.5 million patients placed on treatment in the country.

He, however, assured of the organisation’s continuous commitment to collaborate with the ASLM and government among others through capacity building, provision of equipment and maintenance toward ensuring quality, accessible and affordable healthcare delivery.

”Roche diagnostic places sophisticated equipment in 27 Laboratories around the country to be able to test viral load because effective treatment of HIV and AIDS requires that you know your viral load which is the number of viruses in your system.

”The only way to know that treatment is effective is when your viral load is coming down. We have been in the forefront in this regard,” he noted.

Oloruko-Ola noted that the conference was aimed at charting a course to manage, control and prevent pandemic.

Similarly, Mr Ndlovu Nqobile, acting Chief Executive Officer of ASLM, said the organisation’s goal was to ensure there is good health for individuals within African continent with appropriate diagnostic equipment and quality services.

Nqobile noted that partnership with Roche was to address pandemics and spread of the virus.

He however commended Roche for being at the forefront in curtailing HIV/AIDS.

“Roche actually listens to us and knows what is required within this continent within the period of time that we expect outbreaks and pandemics and what it means to have appropriate diagnostic which entails affordable, accessible and available health care.

“We have benefited a lot from Roche in addressing some health problems like HIV. We no longer depend on co-chain but rather dry blood cell in HIV testing,” he said.