MTN Nigeria, through its foundation has donated the first Oligo-synthesizer to the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos.
This is as part of its proactive effort and support for the national pandemic response.
The Foundation in achieving this, engaged the services of one of the foremost growing health solutions company in Nigeria, Medcourt Support Services Limited to donate the Oligo-synthesizer equipment to NIMR.
The official deployment and presentation of the equipment took place recently at the premises of the institute to aid local development of primers for indigenous production of test kits for COVID-19 and other diseases.
In a statement signed by Mr. Adegboyega Oridota, principal lead, Medcourt Support Services Limited, he said his organization’s implimentation partnership with the telecoms giant is remarkable being the first Oligo synthesizer machine in the country to help boost the research capabilities of indigenous scientists.
Oridota said the Oligo-synthesizer is extremely useful in current laboratory practices as it provides rapid and inexpensive access to custom-made DNA or RNA molecules of the desired sequence.
“We are elated that we emerged MTN Foundation’s choice as implimentation partner in deploying a solution to combat the global pandemic ravaging the world today.
Oridota added that the engagement entails the supply of the equipment, installation, training of NIMR Staff as well as after-sales support.”
At the presentation, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of State for Health, said the equipment no doubt will position Nigeria to rapidly develop polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, performed to detect genetic material from a specific organism, like the COVID-19 virus.
“Our gathering is a proof of our desire not to be left behind in the global resolve to confront the global pandemic, that is, COVID-19. It is a battle that can be won through collaborative effort like the one we’re witnessing today. NIMR has surpassed our expectations as the foremost medical research facilities in Africa and we appreciate MTN Nigeria for this donation, ”said Mamora.
In his response, Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, chairman, MTN Foundation, said the Foundation embarked on the project with the clear goal of improving the quality of life of Nigerians. He noted that MTN Foundation partnered with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in establishing the Oligo-synthesis laboratory.
Remarking, Babatunde Lawal Salako, director-general, NIMR, said the Oligo-synthesizer provides a paradigm shift in public health response, research and development in Nigeria.
According to him, the NIRM Oligo-synthesizer laboratory will put Nigerian researchers in the forefront of vaccine production for local use.
“I strongly believe that the donation of Oligo-synthesizer machine is not just for the Institute alone but to the whole country.”He added.