The Governor-General of Canada Julie Payette and Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday commissioned the newly- built $4.5million Biobank Laboratory in Lagos.
The health facility situated within the premises of the Lagos Mainland Hospital, Yaba was said to have been designed to ensure effective management of outbreak of infectious diseases with special focus on containment and strengthening of capacity to prevent, detect and respond to all manner of threats.
The Biobankwas delivered through a partnership between Lagos State Government and the Canadian government which contributed a total of ($4.5million) to the project.
Addressing the gathering, Payette said the partnership that led to the construction of the facility between the Canadian and Lagos State governments were predicated on the outbreak of the Ebola in West Africa in 2014 and which Nigeria was able to successfully contain.
“I must say I had a thought knowing that we were coming here to open such an important facility; a facility to prevent, detect and respond to about the worst calamities possible outcomes that could happen. The incidence of infectious disease if not contained could do so much damage and could ravage so many lives. It is not important, it is absolutely essential to have a facility like this to make sure that it never happens.
“As serious as the outbreak was here in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa, it could have been much more or worse and so, Canada is very glad to have filled that gap with you with this laboratory and Bio-bank,” Payette said.
The Governor-General assured that her country would continue to partner with the Nigerian government to contain infectious diseases and other treatments, noting that Ebola was still a deadly disease worldwide.
Ambode said the delivery of the project was a perfect example of a forward-looking and community-development collaboration undertaken by the Lagos State Government and the Canadian government, adding that with the facility, the public healthcare delivery in the State had moved to higher level.