The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has inaugurated a two-day training programme for medical laboratory scientists on the use of the Genexpert machine for novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.
This, it said, was part of the ongoing efforts to build capacity toward dealing with COVID-19.
Genexpert Machine is a machine used for testing COVID-19, as well as other pathogens like Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B/C, and other Flu.
Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola , the Director of Public Relations and Information, MAF headquarters, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
It said that the Chief of the Air Staff (COAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, described medical laboratory science as one of the key components of any health.
Abubakar was represented at the programme by the Chief of Staff, Tactical Air Command (TAC), Air Commodore Shehu Bakari.
The COAS added that the service had made significant investment in terms of procurement of modern medical equipment, infrastructural upgrades as well as capacity building of its laboratory scientists.
According to him, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, NAF deems it necessary to acquire specialised equipment for COVID-19 testing.
This, he said, was done to enable NAF personnel develop requisite skills to boost their testing capability, especially in the operation of the GeneXpert machine, which would be deployed to NAF Hospitals across the country.
Abubakar said the initiative would go a long way in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
He also said that the GeneXpert machine could be employed in detecting other pathogens such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C as well as Flu viruses.
Also, the Chief of Medical Services, Headquarters NAF, Air Commodore Gideon Bako, stated that the two-day workshop would undoubtedly enhance the skills of the laboratory scientists in carrying out COVID-19 testing.
He expressed optimism that the deployment of GeneXpert machines in some NAF medical facilities would go a long way in achieving the overall objectives of quick identification, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 infected persons.
Bako, therefore, urged the participants to make the most of the training and ensure that the knowledge acquired translates to better laboratory services in their respective medical facilities.(NAN)