U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Terence McCulley spoke on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of a Defense Reference Laboratory, Leadership reports, noting he said the laboratory, "which is the first of its kind in the sub-region," was supported by U.S. funding. According to the newspaper, McCulley said the Reference Laboratory Program is part of U.S. assistance to Nigeria through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and Nigeria's Ministry of Defense (NMOD) through the Walter Reed Program (WRP-N) and the Emergency Plan Implementation Committee (EPIC), which began in 2005 (8/30).
The laboratory will "provide the platform for 'precise diagnosis and reliable laboratory test' that is required for HIV management," the Guardian Nigeria writes, noting that Minister of State for Defense Olusola Obada said the laboratory also has the capacity to test for tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases (Tsokar, 8/31). Obada described the laboratory as a breakthrough for the country, the Nigerian Tribune adds (Agbambu/Muhammed, 8/31).