The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) says lack of adequate human resources is the greatest challenge Nigeria faces as it fights Covid-19.
The Director-General of the commission, Chikwe Ihekweazu, who spoke on Friday, during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on the COVID-19 in Abuja said the center is making all efforts to increase its testing capacity for the COVID-19 in the country.
According to him, other challenges in the fight against the pandemic are funds and infrastructure .
“We’re not just limited by funds or infrastructure, but the biggest limitation is the human resources, the people that have already been trained in molecular diagnostics testing,” Ihekewazu said.
“This isn’t something that you can pick volunteers up and ask them to start testing.
“It’s a very complicated process and the people doing this, are the same people doing the actual testing, so we have to find a balance between building capacity, increasing throughput and actually assuring testing”.
Ihekweazu said global bodies have insisted on getting people tested as fast as possible but while speed is important it is necessary to balance it with safety.,
The NCDC boss also noted that the realities around the world are not the same and for Nigeria, the President has asked officials to only stick to what works for the country.
“Getting more people tested is something that is being talked about globally and you would all have been following this conversation. And it’s exactly what we have been trying to do – to improve our capacity to test.
“But we must do so safely and we must make sure that in the effort to do it quickly, we maintain the due diligence and make sure that every test that we provide to every Nigeria is authentic. When it’s negative, it’s negative. When it’s positive, it’s positive.
“The realities around the world are not the same and Mr President has asked us not to look east or west but to find the right solutions considering the circumstances in our country,”.