The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has equipped the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka in Anambra and designated it a Mega Laboratory Centre.
Dr Kingston Omo-Emmanuel, leader of USAID team of experts, made the disclosure when his team visited Dr Basil Nwankwo, Chief Medical Director of COOUTH on Friday in Awka.
Omo-Emmanuel said the agency installed four new machines in the laboratory and upgraded the two exiting ones to make it a total of six state-of-the-art testing machines at the centre.
He said the machines had a combined capacity to run tests on over 500 sample in eight hours making it the biggest and best to serve clients in the entire South-East region.
Also, a member of the team, Dr Donald Igboelina, said COOUTH was selected for the project because of the quality of its management and genuine efforts at enhancing healthcare delivery.
Igboelina congratulated the institution for meeting criteria for installation of such facility and called for greater awareness for people to subject themselves to test.
Responding, Nwankwo said the Mega Laboratory valued at about N500 million was a major step towards addressing the infrastructure and diagnostic equipment needs of the hospital.
The CMD thanked USAID for designating COOUTH test lab as a Mega Lab, attributing the success of his leadership since assumption of office 20 months ago to his participatory approach to management.
Nwankwo assured that power would not be a challenge to the efficiency of the laboratory as COOUTH enjoyed between 18 and 20 hours of electricity supply with special generators installed to serve special facilities.
“The Board and Management of COOUTH wish to thank USAID for making our Laboratory a Mega Lab, with this, we can run test for hospitals and general hospitals in the South-East.
“It also addresses the issue of infrastructure, since I assumed office not less than N2 billion has been invested in this institution by the state government, and now we have this USAID intervention valued at over N500 million,” he said.
Some of the machines installed in the laboratory included Bioseptic Cabins for protection of operators, Polymarase Chain Reaction (PCR) Computers for extraction and amplification of samples among others.
The Country USAID team were accompanied by Mrs Ngozi Ezinwa, Coordinator of the programme in Anambra.