Dr. Faruk Sarkinfada
PhD, Health and Medical Sciences Department.
Weak laboratory systems and lack of access to effective antimicrobials is still a huge issue in many Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). The burden of Covid-19 pandemic has placed increased demand on the overstretched laboratory systems in LMICs. Gaps in the implementation of Covid-19 mitigation measures in these countries have also been shown to promote the development of new strains of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. There is therefore a dare need for the enhanced Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in the laboratory systems of these countries for effective in-vitro diagnosis, research, and development of vaccines to combat the challenges of both Covid-19 pandemic and AMR catastrophe.
Nigeria, through the National Center for disease Control (NCDC) invested significantly in establishing AMR surveillance system in the country. With further support from development partners, particularly the Fleming Fund Country Grant by the United Kingdom Department of Health and Social Services, a One-Health platform for AMR surveillance is strengthened. In the recent Covid-19 pandemic response, the private sector plays a significant role in Nigeria’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Covid-19. A significant proportion of private sector laboratories were engaged in the response. It, therefore, suggests a synergy of PPP in enhancing the operationalization and sustainability of Covid-19 and AMR surveillance.
The private medical laboratory sector needs to be adequately positioned as stakeholders in the National AMR surveillance structure for an expanded engagement in effective AMR surveillance systems. The private sector in a medical laboratory is indeed a rich Resource in establishing of Public-Private Partnership in tackling AMR, vaccine production, and In-Vitro Diagnostics in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC).
23rd National Conference of Guild of Private Medical Laboratory Directors (GMLD) Nigeria – Abuja August 17th – 20th 2021.