In 2014, the world was captivated and horrified by one of the largest Ebola epidemics ever reported. This infectious and fatal disease swept across western Africa, infecting thousands and causing global panic. Now, a planned biobanking project in Nigeria has announced that it will be using its freezer software and other laboratory sample management software to prevent and treat diseases like Ebola across Africa.
The CEO of the Institute of Human Virology of Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Dakum, announced the future project in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria. Using funding provided by the United States National Institute for Health for African scientists, the institute plans to create a tissue biorepository to collect and store research samples. The biorepository will be specifically designed to use special freezer software, which will allow researchers to analyze possible prevention and treatment options over the course of long-term studies.
In the past, scientific research in Africa was often ruined when samples were lost due to poor storage conditions and inadequate freezer software. However, Dakum stated that the new facility being planned will put these days in Nigeria’s past. He also added that the facility was particularly interested in studying the connection between gene sequences and particular disease traits. This field is known as the human hereditary of health, and according to Dakum’s comments, it could be used to find solutions to Lassa Fever and HIV, as well as Ebola. However, one of the institute’s overall missions is to reduce the rate of communicable diseases in Africa, and the facility will likely utilize several research areas to achieve this goal.
The freezer software has already been purchased and has been operating at at temporary facility. Currently, the institute plans to move it from its current location to a laboratory in Abuja, Nigeria. Dakum stated that the project will be run in accordance with the Nigerian Federal Government’s health policy and keep samples across West Africa.