National Production of COVID-19 Test Kits Boosted by MTN Foundation
With the emergence of new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants driving continued global concern, testing remains critical to slowing the spread of the virus and mitigating its threat to lives and livelihoods.
As part of Its ongoing support of the national pandemic response, MTN Nigeria through its foundation has donated Oligo-synthesizer equipment to the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR). This equipment will aid local development of primers for indigenous production of test kits for COVID-19 and other diseases. The handover and commissioning event took place at the NIMR auditorium on August 13, 2021 and had in attendance dignitaries and experts in the health industry like the Honorable Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora, Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi (OFR, mni), Director-General, NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Lawal Salako, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, amongst other stakeholders in the health sector in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Honorable Minister of State for Health, Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora said, “Our gathering is a testimony to our desire not to be left behind in the global resolve to confront the situation at hand that is COVID-19. It is a battle that can be won through collaborative effort like the one we’re witnessing today with MTN Foundation. Nimr has surpassed our expectations as the foremost medical research facilities in Africa and appreciate MTN Nigeria for this donation.”
Speaking about the initiative, the Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi (OFR, mni) said, “Working with public and private sector partners to provide solutions that alleviate some of our society’s biggest problems and create lasting change in communities across the country is at the heart of what we do. As we celebrate 20 years of operations in Nigeria, we are further motivated to implement projects of maximum impact in our communities.”
“As an organisation, we embark on projects with a clear goal – To improve the quality of life of Nigerians. In line with this, we are pleased to have partnered with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in establishing the Oligosynthesis laboratory.”
The Oligo-synthesizer is extremely useful in current laboratory practice as it provides rapid and inexpensive access to custom-made DNA or RNA molecules of the desired sequence.