The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday debunked the circulating social media allegation that Nigeria has laboratories where Monkeypox virus is generated.

According to the allegation attributed to the Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force, “there are four US-controlled biological laboratories operating in Nigeria. The 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 other words, MPX virus is generated in these laboratories.”

However, in a recent release signed by the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the Agency explained that the statement is not backed by any evidence.

It stated that the designation and activities of Nigerian public health laboratories are known to the supervising authorities and that most of the laboratories were procured and set up by the Federal Government in all 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for diagnostic purposes, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases.

It further stated that 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.

“As a rule, Nigeria welcomes scientific cooperation with all foreign countries, and has received material support from the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan etc, and also discussed vaccine production with Russia. Collaboration between Nigeria and the United States 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, and malaria elimination.”

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