‘This Is The Kind Of Support We Need,’ NCDC Hails Biotech Company For Raising $500,000 In 24hrs

Ronke Idowu  
Updated March 27, 2020
Photo: [email protected]



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has hailed a biotech company, 54gene for raising the sum of $500,000 in 24 hours to fight the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The company had opened a fund with a donation of $150,000 and within 24 hours an additional $350,000 was secured from partners, including Union Bank.

In reaction to this, NCDC took to its official Twitter handle to applaud the effort of the company.

“This is the kind of support we need. Identify a problem, run with it and include a sustainability plan in your solution. We are very grateful for this new partnership with 54gene at a critical point in our health security,” NCDC tweeted on Thursday.

The genomics research service company plans to utilise the fund raised by increasing the COVID-19 testing capacity in Nigeria by up to 1,000 additional tests a day.

To achieve this, the company plans to buy testing instruments and the required biosafety materials, such as biosafety cabinets and personal protective equipment needed to keep frontline healthcare workers safe.

“With the Nigeria COVID-19 Testing Fund, we are working in sync with the NCDC to make Nigeria’s public health an absolute priority during this global pandemic, which has left thousands dead or fighting for their lives,” Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO 54gene said in a statement.

He added that the 54gene team is working in unison with the NCDC and other stakeholders to start deploying the fund within days, purchasing vital testing equipment, to be used by medical professionals.

According to Ene-Obong, all equipment will be installed in public hospitals and laboratories across Nigeria and will remain in situ once the current COVID-19 pandemic subsides, to be used by medical researchers and clinicians in case of any future outbreaks.

As of March 26, the NCDC has confirmed 65 cases of COVID-19, and the Nigerian Government has taken a number of steps to control the spread of the disease, including imposing flight and travel restrictions.