By Onome Oghenetega
A world-class diagnostic centre for COVID-19 PCR test, tumor markers/cancer screening test, HIV detection and HIV viral load has been inaugurated in Ogunu, Warri, Delta State by ND Western.
This is even as ND Western, an indigenous oil and gas company, has assured of the firm’s commitment in providing quality healthcare residents of her host communities.
The centre, Delta Plus Diagnostic, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to cater for various laboratory tests was built by ND Western/Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Joint Venture, operators of OML 34, in conjunction with the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) and Katchey Company Limited.
Speaking on Thursday at the commissioning of Delta Plus Diagnostics in Ogunu community, Warri South council area of Delta state, ND Western’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Eberechukwu Oji, said the company will continue to carry out projects that will engender socio-economic development of her host communities.
Indigenous oil and gas firm, ND Western Limited, has assured of its commitment to efficient healthcare delivery for its host and other neighbouring communities.
Oji stated that the company took up the establishment of the laboratory centre to address the difficulty faced by residents of the area to access diagnostic services.
He noted that with the establishment of the centre, residents of her host communities do not need to travel long distances for test.
“With the global health challenges we face today, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed millions of lives all over the world, it is pertinent to state that at ND Western, we do not shy away from these challenges.
“We recognize these challenges and proffer solutions through collaborative efforts with partners that share our drive, as we like to excel at everything we are involved in.
“As such, we would be delighted to collaborate further with all relevant stakeholders to make sure that Delta Plus Diagnostics laboratory is utilized optimally many years from now.
“We are not only passionate about oil and gas, but we are also committed to the health and well being of every individual. And like the proverbial phrase says ‘health is wealth'”, he stated.
While commending the Federal Government and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) for the success of the project, which he pointed out will support the medical research community in the South-south, as well as neighbouring states.
He further added that aside COVID-19 PCR and cancer tests, the new laboratory has the capacity also to conduct HBV detection, STD panel, respiratory panel, hepatitis B test, tuberculosis, oncology, stem cell research, diabetes screening, SNP genotype and among others test.
Also, the managing director of NPDC, Mr. Ali Zarah, represented by the Executive Director Assets Management, Dr. Ismail Mohammed, said that the project came at the right time, when the world is facing serious health problems like the COVID-19 pandemic among others.
Noting the importance of molecular diagnostic laboratories to research, he pointed out that, the centre will assists physicians in “making decisions on diagnosis, treatment, and examination methods,” as well as “improve the access to quality diagnostic, timely and accurate treatment to patients”.
Recalling the provision of medical consumables to Nigeria by IPPG, in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chairman, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, said the laboratory initiative is an “excellent continuation” of that support.
In her speech, CEO of Katchey Laboratory, Mrs. Kate Isa, expressed delight for being part of the project which she described as very “sophisticated”.
She assured that the laboratory has been furnished with digital science laboratory equipment and supplies, along with “efficient” hands to ensure delivery of quality service, “timely”.
The event was graced by the Ovie of Agbarha-Warri Kingdom, Orhifi Orovwagbarha Agbarha-Ide Ememoh II; Ovie of Ughievwen HRM Matthew Egbi Owahwa II; the Ovie of Effurun-Otor, HRM King Duku II, as well as the Olu of Warri, HM Ogiame Atuwaste lll, who was represented by Chief Clement Maleghemi.
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