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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC has refuted claims by Russia about a United States’ controlled biological laboratories operating in Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the Director General for NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, obtained by PLATFORM TIMES, NCDC said there is no proof to the allegations made by Russia.
A report on social media was alleged to have come from the Chief Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection force claiming that there are four US-controlled biological laboratories in Nigeria adding that the Monkeypox virus in the United States of America were generated from the said laboratories.
Adetifa disclosed that the existing laboratories in the country have been used for the HIV control programme by the Federal Government and partners.
The statement reads, “A recent report on social media has come to our attention, said to have been released by the Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force, containing allegations:
“That ‘there are four US-controlled biological laboratories operating in Nigeria’. That ‘WHO reports that the Monkeypox (MPX) virus responsible for outbreaks in Europe and elsewhere was imported from Nigeria where the United States of America deployed its biological infrastructure. In order words, MPX virus is generated in these laboratories.
“The statement is not backed by any evidence. The designation and activities of Nigerian public health laboratories are known to the supervising authorities, most of the laboratories having been procured and set up by the Federal Government in all 36 States and FCT for diagnostic purposes, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases.
“Some other laboratories are dedicated to the very successful HIV control program, managed by the Federal Government and her Partners, based on larger and longstanding bilateral and multilateral cooperation in public health, including prevention, diagnosis, surveillance, and control of diseases.”
The DG explained that Nigeria has received supports from the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan amongst others. He added that there has also been discussion on vaccine production with Russia.
On relationship with the United States, Adetifa said that collaboration between the two countries ‘has provided opportunities for technical assistance, capacity building, provision of equipment and field hospitals at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and funds to support health programmes, like HIV/AIDS, malaria elimination.’