Roche Diagnostics Partners ASLM for Pandemic Response Conference
By Dipo Olowookere
The fourth Biennial International Conference taking place in Abuja has received a huge boost with the decision of Roche Diagnostics to support the event.
Roche Diagnostics is collaborating with organisers of the summit, African Society for Laboratory Medicine in order to make it bigger and better.
The confab themed Role of the Laboratory, aims to prevent and control the next pandemic in Africa and also give participants information on the laboratory medicine landscape and needs in Africa as well as increase awareness of opportunities to invest in laboratory medicine amongst private, public and philanthropic donors.
The conference further facilitates networking among participants, particularly for newcomers to African healthcare settings and markets while promoting the creation of public-private partnerships to ensure further development of both African laboratories and African diagnostics companies.
ASLM plays an important role in advancing and strengthening laboratory services in Africa and in line with this, Roche Diagnostics will be showcasing its achievements in tackling Hepatitis B and C in Nigeria as well as new solutions in the HIV space.
Speaking at a media briefing, Roche Diagnostics Acting Interim General Manager and Head of Management Centre South Africa, Mr Duncan Mackay, explained that the partnership with ASLM was ideal as the conference was an important step in building and advancing healthcare systems on the continent taking into consideration the AU Agenda 2063 where the African Union adopted Vision 2063 as a roadmap for continental development.
“This is very much aligned with our commitment to support the improvement of the health care system in Africa. We will continue to partner with organisations that have associated objectives with us in improving the healthcare of our people in Africa,” he said.
Roche Diagnostics says it believes in collaborative efforts to achieve universal health coverage and is currently working with CHAI for HIV, Hepatitis and Cancer across Africa; PEPFAR, Global Fund for HIV across Africa, Cervical cancer screening in Partnership with the Society for Gynaecology and Obstetricians of Nigeria (SOGON) in Nigeria. Over the past 3 years it has also developed Public Private Partnerships with CDC for “Good Laboratory Practise” training Program in Africa, which strengthens Quality.
Roche Diagnostics Country Head for Nigeria, Taofik Oloruko-Oba said, “Our solutions have direct positive impact on health and lives of millions of people across the world for example the Taraba State Project Zero Hepatitis campaign. The prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Nigeria is 11% which implies that there are almost 19 million Nigerians infected with Hepatitis B (HBV). Therefore our solutions for screening, diagnosis, treatment and treatment monitoring are required for everyone who is infected. The National guidelines for HBV management recommend screening for all relevant people.” Other innovative technological solutions that Roche Diagnostics provide include the Plasma Separation Card for HIV viral load samples which enable Viral load sample transport out of cold chain; unique serology solutions for Non-Communicable Diseases; the HPV DNA genotyping for cervical cancer screening which was the first to be certified by the FDA; and the cobas® 8800, the highest throughput instrument for HIV, Hepatitis and HPV DNA testing in the world, Several of which are present here in Nigeria. The right solution for management of Pandemic infections.