Dangote engages 54Gene to conduct 1,000 tests daily in Kano

The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), a philanthropic endeavour of Aliko Dangote, has contracted 54Gene, a molecular diagnostics company specialised in research and diagnostics, to immediately set up a 400 test/day capacity laboratory in Kano state.

54Gene 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 Sunday 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.

The President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the foundation is directly supporting the Nigerian government’s COVID-19 containment efforts in Kano state.

According to Dangote, this new investment in support of increasing nation-wide testing, comes in addition to ADF’s support through the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

He explained: “CACOVID is already setting up a 310 bed isolation center 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 center now. 

These two centers will be operational pending the final validation by the Infection Prevention and Control team, which we expect will be completed in the coming days.”

Dangote pledged the Foundation’s commitment to reduce the number of lives lost to  diseases, such as COVID-19, Ebola and other deadly viruses in the state.

Speaking on the efforts of the Foundation to assist the federal government in curtailing the spread of COVID-19, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, added that ADF is also supporting the rapid response teams in their work to identify suspected covid-19 cases across the healthcare centers 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”, she said.

Speaking on the collaboration, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, the 40ft structure built with container technology, provides a unique plug-and-play solution.

Ene-Obong  explained that the mobile laboratory is also fully kitted with vital instruments including  an autoclave, bio-safety cabinet, centrifuge, heating blocks, vortexes, pipettes, and PCR machines to support COVID-19 testing.

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