The Aliko Dangote Foundation has contracted 54Gene, a molecular diagnostics company specialized in research and diagnostics, to immediately set up a 400 test per day capacity laboratory in Kano State.
The company is accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and has already set up labs in Lagos and in Ogun States.
The lab, which was inaugurated on May 3 in Kano, will start with a testing capacity of 400 tests a day, increasing to 1,000 tests a day by May 10.
The lab will be set up at Muhammadu Buhari Hospital in Kano, where an isolation centre is currently operational.
On his part, the Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said that the foundation is supporting the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 containment efforts in Kano State.
According to him, this new investment in support of increasing nation-wide testing comes in addition to the foundation’s support through the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
CACOVID is already setting up a 310-bed isolation centre at Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano. We are extending that capacity by another 150 beds at the Abubakar Imam Urology Centre in Kano, which is being converted into an isolation centre now. These two centres will be operational pending the final validation by the Infection Prevention and Control team, which we expect will be completed in the coming days.
The richest man in Africa pledged the Foundation’s commitment to reduce the number of fatalities associated with such disease as COVID-19, Ebola and other deadly infections in the state.
Dangote further stated that the foundation would not relent in using its investments in health, education, and economic empowerment to help lift people out of sickness and poverty.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, speaking on the efforts of the Foundation to assist the Federal Government in curtailing the spread of the pandemic, added that the foundation is also supporting the Rapid Response Teams in their work to identify suspected COVID-19 cases across the healthcare centres in Kano.
ADF will immediately handover to the Kano RRT, 10 new ambulances (4 that are immediately available and 6 over the next week), two vehicles and PPEs to support the transportation of patients from different parts of the state.