SPOTLIGHT: APIN Supported PCR Laboratory At Federal Medical Center Makurdi Acquires SANAS Accreditation.

The PCR Laboratory at Federal Medical Center Makurdi has received accreditation from the South African National System (SANAS) to ISO Standard. The facility is supported by APIN Public Health Initiatives with funding from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is accredited under the recognized International Standard.

The accreditation demonstrates technical competency for a defined scope and the operation of a quality management system for Medical Laboratory Testing and Molecular Biology. The certificate was presented at a media parley organized by the outgoing Medical Director of FMC Makurdi Dr. Peteru Suega Inunduh, by the Team Lead for ART Program at FMC Makurdi Dr. Vivian Shaahu who praised the efforts of all staff and management of the facility, and APIN as well as other relevant partners who made the feat possible.

Among the stakeholders present at the event was the CEO of APIN Public Health Initiative, Dr.  Prosper Okonkwo, who was represented by APIN Head of Office for Benue State; Dr. Kelechi Ngwoke who noted the partnership between APIN and FMC Makurdi dates as far back as the year 2004, with FMC Makurdi being the largest treatment site in Nigeria with about 11,000 Patients who are receiving lifesaving anti-retroviral care/treatment.

Dr. Ngwoke noted that the newly established PCR Laboratory at FMC Makurdi is equipped adequately to handle all molecular laboratory tests, including HIV, Hepatitis B & C, Lassa Fever, and Corona Virus. Dr. Ngwoke said, that the accreditation earned by the medical institution is highly commendable, moreso that FMC Makurdi is the first among all Federal Medical Centers in Nigeria to earn a WHO accreditation at this level and equipped with cutting-edge technology to deliver on the purpose of its establishment. 

FMC Makurdi emerged as the best-performing PCR Lab, among those funded by CDC in 2022. Remarkably also, Benue State for the past 2 years has achieved HIV treatment saturation, thus on the verge of attaining HIV epidemic control. Dr. Kelechi said that the purpose of the new PCR Laboratory is to ensure clinical care and thus manage the patients served by the health facility across Benue (Over 235,000 Patients). The PCR Lab also serves other states including Cross-River, Taraba, Enugu and Akwa-Ibom, and more.

“The PCR Lab at FMC Makurdi runs 24 hours and this is only possible because of the commitment on the part of the outgoing Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Peteru Inunduh who has made it possible to have sustained power supply at the facility for uninterrupted services. As an implementing partner, Our collaboration with Benue State has been very productive and fruitful from funding, technical support, and human resources, and this is very commendable as APIN seeks to achieve more successes in Benue State, moving forward.”

The PCR Lab, according to APIN Benue Head of Office, can execute over 1700 viral load tests daily, with both APIN and FMC Staff running 3 shifts within 24 hours to deliver on set targets. He wishes that the gains made by Dr. Inunduh as MD, of FMC Makurdi will be built upon with the new management hopefully taking over leadership at the hospital.

Responding, the outgoing Medical Director, Dr. Peteru Inunduh appreciated all stakeholders and partners that have worked with him especially APIN Public Health Initiative for the fruitful and cordial partnership that has existed since he took over leadership at the hospital in 2015. He appreciated APIN for the support given to the hospital in distinct areas thus ensuring that the institution achieves its mandate of establishment and existence. According to Dr. Inunduh, within the 8 years of his leadership at FMC Makurdi, he has turned around the fortunes of the health facility, from infrastructural development to human capital investment and quality service delivery thus achieving so many gains beyond mention.

Dr. Ngwoke on behalf of the APIN CEO thanked the outgoing medical director for his service to humanity while praying to God to grant him a successful and fulfilling retirement. Other projects and facilities were showcased by the outgoing Medical Director of FMC Makurdi including access roads, mega theatre, medical wards, infectious disease center, dialysis unit, canteen, and more.

The event also had in attendance from APIN Benue State Office, Dr. Thomas Usha (Technical Advisor & STA Lead) and Dr. Regina Odeh (Senior Technical Officer)