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Cablegate: Nigeria Avian Flu Laboratory Assessment

VZCZCXRO1247
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1608/01 1780711
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270711Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6236
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RHFMISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0012
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP/ASD-HD//
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001608

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USDA FOR FAS/OA, FAS/DLP, FAS/ICD AND FAS/ITP
USDA FOR APHIS
USDA FOR WAYNE MOLSTAD/OSEC
USAID/W FOR AFR/WA ANGELA LOZANO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU EAID AMED EAGR NI AVIANFLU
SUBJECT: NIGERIA AVIAN FLU LABORATORY ASSESSMENT

REF: ABUJA 1429

ABUJA 00001608 001.2 OF 002

1. (SBU) Summary. Two veterinarians from the U.S. Naval
Medical Research Unit in Cairo assessed in May five Nigerian
laboratories' capabilities for detecting AI. The
laboratories generally were deficient in infrastructure,
equipment, and technicians' level of training. The
capability of the Asokoro human-testing laboratory was
strong, but the lab had not received many human samples.
The NVRI animal-testing laboratory was capable and
functioning. All the veterinary laboratories lacked a
standardized collection and transportation system featuring
uniform shipping containers to properly ship AI animal
samples. End summary.

2. Two veterinarians from the U.S. Naval Medical Research
Unit (NAMRU) in Cairo, Egypt, assessed in May five Nigerian
laboratories' capabilities for detecting avian influenza
(AI). The zoonotic-disease diagnostic experts visited and
assessed: the Department of Virology, College of Medicine,
University College Hospital, Ibadan; the Institute of Human
Virology, Asokoro, Abuja; the National Veterinary Research
Institute (NVRI), Vom, Plateau State; the Veterinary
Teaching Hospital, Amadu Bello University, Zaria; and the
Avian Diseases Laboratory, Department of Veterinary
Medicine, Ibadan.

3. The experts found the Nigerian lab staff to be committed
but without adequate equipment or infrastructure. The NAMRU
veterinarians found all the laboratories except for the NVRI
lacked a reliable supply of electrical power; all needed new
generators and money for generator diesel fuel; and the
Ibadan Department of Virology and the Amadu Bello Veterinary
Teaching Hospital lacked running water.

4. All the facilities lacked regular equipment maintenance,
especially of biosafety cabinets; trained personnel with the
tools to maintain equipment; and laboratory personnel
trained sufficiently in using and caring for laboratory
equipment. All the laboratories (except Asokoro) lacked
refrigerators; all (except Asokoro) lacked freezers capable
of minus 20 degrees Celsius for storing reagents; all
(except Asokoro) lacked freezers capable of minus 80 degree
Celsius for storing samples; all (except Asokoro) lacked
batteries and stabilizers for equipment; and all lacked
access to dry ice or liquid nitrogen. None of laboratories
had funds for a constant supply of reagents, personal
protective equipment, kits for sample collection, shipping
materials, or to ship samples.

5. The capability of personnel at the Asokoro laboratory was
strong, and they can test human samples but have not
received many. Overall, the NVRI was capable and
functioning, and had a reliable (but aging) backup generator
for electricity, as well as water-storage capabilities. The
NVRI processes Nigeria's animal AI lab samples and is
capable of expanding its operations if necessary. The NVRI
would benefit from receiving an additional minus 80 degree
Celsius freezer to store reference samples. The AI animal
samples currently being submitted in Nigeria all can be
processed by the NVRI, with an outside lab serving as a
reference laboratory.

6. Other than the animal lab unit in Ibadan, the capability
of the veterinary labs was weak. Their challenges in
maintaining electricity and water greatly limit their
capacity to conduct laboratory analysis. The satellite
laboratories needed assistance with both materiel and
training to collect and to ship samples to the national lab
in Vom. None of the veterinary laboratories had a
standardized collection and transportation system featuring
uniform shipping containers, to properly ship AI animal
samples to the NVRI. This system needs to deliver properly
collected and packaged lab samples to the NVRI within 48
hours of their being collected from the suspect animal.

8. The experts experienced a positive reception at each
laboratory they visited and left laboratory reagents at

ABUJA 00001608 002.2 OF 002


each. The NAMRU plans to cooperate with these facilities in
the near future to improve their capabilities.
FUREY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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