FG, IHVN trains experts on HIV rapid test kits

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) says it has trained 25 medical experts on post market validation of HIV rapid test kits in Nigeria.

Mrs Oyebimpe Balogun, the Programme Manager, Laboratories, IIHVN, said on Thursday n Abuja that the capacity building was achieved in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health.

She the beneficiaries would be responsible for conducting validation for HIV test kits bought by government and partners to ascertain the efficacy of the kits.

Balogun said the training was for a validation of HIV Rapid Test Kits, to ascertain whether HIV kits bought by government or partners were fit for distribution across the service delivery centres in Nigeria.

She said the participants gain a lot of knowledge and skills because the training included didactic within the class room and actual hands-on within the laboratory.

“We expect that once kits arrive into the country, the experts will be responsible for sampling and validation of the kits in the laboratory before distribution to various service delivery points,’’ Balogun said.

She assured that the trained personnel have the capacity to effectively train other persons when the need arise.

“So if state governments are buying the kits, this team of experts can provide validation at the state level and they can also offer training at state levels,’’ she said.

Mrs Joy Obu, Laboratory Team Leader, HIV and AIDS Division, Federal Ministry of Health, said the training involved theory and practical.
According to her, “we started with theoretical part of the training from Monday, Jan. 22 to Wed., Jan. 24.

“On Thursday, Jan. 25 the team went to the warehouse for sampling of the rapid test kits of HIV/AIDS’’.

She said from Jan. 27 to Jan. 31, the team was at Asokoro General Hospital for the evaluation of the test kits.

The team leader said all the test kits that were evaluated passed the quality test, adding that the quality of the kits were good for distribution across the country for the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

Obu said the trainees comprised various health experts such as laboratory scientists, pharmacists and nurses, among others, in line with the task shifting and task sharing policy of the federal government.

A participant at the occasion, Mrs Maureen Aniedobe, a medical laboratory scientist from National Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, said the training would improve quality assurance for HIV rapid test kits in Nigeria.

She added that the training on the efficacy on rapid test kits would minimise the risk of false HIV results, stressing that false results has serious emotional, social and toxic impact on patients.

The participant appealed for regular retraining of staff.

Aniedobe said in the course of the training the participants came across numerous innovations that would make results to be more precise and accurate. (NAN)