To combat the testing deficit, a Nigerian company, LifeBank has joined forces with the government by launching a mobile testing centre.
Nigeria has been lagging far behind many other countries — who are themselves not doing enough — in terms of testing her citizens suspected of contracting the new coronavirus.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the healthcare technology and logistics company, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, disclosed this on Tuesday.
LifeBank is partnering with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) to help extend the net of free testing exercises.
“We had the idea five days ago, built the facility, got funded and launched!” Giwa-Tubosun tweeted excitedly.
Already, 70 people have been tested and the company looks forward to raising this figure to at least 200 people every day.
People who sign up and are selected for testing are given letters that will allow them to pass through security checkpoints, and those who test positive for the disease are referred to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Also, test result statistics are shared with the government for data collation through the NIMR.
The initiative’s funders include Sterling Bank and UTL Trust Management Services. The CEO also thanked the Lagos State government, NCDC, and CoVID-19 Citizen Action Group for their support and guidance.
“If you are interested in helping us expand this Lagos-wide and to a few other states, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org! We need more resources to do so much more!” she urged.
Nigeria’s government has been criticised for not testing people as aggressively as other countries. Data from the NCDC shows that, as of March 26, only 333 people had been tested.
Meanwhile, at the same time, less populous countries such as Ghana, Egypt, and South Africa had respectively conducted up to 2,228, 25,000, and 20,471 tests.
NCDC’s Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu has, however, assured that the country’s daily testing capacity will be increased to 1,000 by the end of the ongoing week and 1,500 by the following week.