Follow us:

COVID-19: OOU Acquires Rapid Test Kits

The Directorate of Health Services, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye has acquired ultra-fast COVID-19 testing kits. The Standard F200 analyzer, which is a fluorescent immunoassay systems designed for easy and reliable measuring, will ostensibly improve test capabilities of the institution as coronavirus infections surge.

Having successfully taken delivery of the equipment, there is renewed hope that it will greatly boost capacity to provide rapid results on COVID-19 tests for both staff and students as well as other members of the University Community. But the cheering news is that testing would come at a highly subsidized rate. Moreover, by extending the testing facility to surrounding communities, the University is able to generate the much needed income for  maintenance and indeed uphold its mandate in the area of community service .

With the second wave of COVID-19 and resultant casualties, governments and relevant authorities are struggling to come up with strategies to combat the surge.

Universities as global institutions of higher learning, which are seen as vital sources of innovative thinking and providers of skilled personnel, are also not left out of the desperate search to curb the spike. With projections still high and academic activities gradually resuming, the imperative of procuring necessary equipment and redoubling preventive measures cannot be over-emphasized.

Newly acquired Standard F200 Analyzer for testing Coronavirus

Already, the Management led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde, has demonstrated its commitment to comply with emerging safety regulations and the protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards ensuring no major incident rock the University. The efforts appear to be yielding fruits as compliance and enforcement levels are quite high within the University community.

The visible advocacy by the school authorities with billboards erected at strategic locations within and around campuses keeps driving the message into the subconscious of everyone.

Other non-pharmaceutical measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus in the University include the provision of running water for hand washing, placement of automatic sanitizer dispensers at strategic and different entry points, enforcement of regular use of face masks by members of the University Community. Also Management has given directives to the Directorate of Works and Services to reorganise classrooms and lecture theatres by ensuring that the sitting arrangement complies with the COVID-19 advisory protocols. This is in preparation for students’ arrival on campuses when physical resumption is announced.

The Vice-Chancellor believes that the University, which has a teaching hospital and an isolation centre for coronavirus patients, cannot take the back seat when efforts are geared towards mitigating the pandemic in the country. Perhaps, this accounts for his interest in seeing that the University is able and adequately equipped to detect coronavirus infection if by chance, a member of the University Community is infected. This will enable the University Medical Staff to quickly isolate such a patient and stabilise him at the isolation Centre at the Mini Campus before transferring such a patient to Saga Giving further insight into the Management’s efforts to prevent the spread of the ravaging disease, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Deji Agboola, said the institution would not compromise the health and safety of its staff and students in any situation. Prof. Agboola, who spoke on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, disclosed that the acquisition of the rapid testing kits was a fallout of the deliberations with the Directorate of Health Services of the University which is currently headed by Dr. Olusoga Osonuga. According to him, the new technology will enable the University Health Centre to conduct appropriate testing and differentiate Covid from malaria and typhoid symptoms.

A medical laboratory staff, Mrs. A.O. Opara.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor disclosed that an alumnus of the University, Mr. Samuel Ogunjimi,  donated the Standard F200 analyzer and its test kits for the use of the institution. “So, we were able to get the rapid diagnosis kits,” he revealed. “As at today, you can have rapid diagnosis test for Covid done at our Health Centre. Mr. Ogunjimi also donated additional one to one of our laboratories for research purposes. The total value of these donations would be within the range of  N10million,” said Prof. Deji Agboola.

However, the University has also been magnanimous and considerate by proposing a drastic reduction in the cost of doing the test. Prof. Agboola stated that contrary to the exorbitant fee being charged in other places, the cost of testing at OOU would be generously discounted.

“In some places, the test usually cost not less than N25,000. In view of this, whatever we want to do should be within the reach of our students. We didn’t buy it, so we cannot be charging our people at commercial rate. And the Director of Health Services agreed with the Management,” Agboola stated.

Also speaking with the OOU Bulletin Crew, Dr. Osonuga expressed satisfaction with the steps taken so far by the University Management, saying it had put in place realistic health measures to ensure infection and fatality rates are prevented or at least subdued at the low end of the spectrum. The Director of Health Services pointed out that the fees to be charged for testing are quite affordable.

His words: “Anywhere in Ogun State and throughout the nation, people have to pay to sustain it. And if we are now privileged to have it, it’s better for us also to sustain it. I want to assure you that it would be much cheaper here than outside. If it’s outside for N25,000 or N50,000, we would be charging for less. The reason is that, the machine is sensitive and it will need to be serviced. Also, the kits provided will be exhausted. How then do you get replacement? As a University, we are still trying to battle with overheads and other expenditure. So, if the Management has been magnanimous enough to get us the device, the first of its kind in any public University in the South West and probably Nigeria, it’s good for us to sustain it.”

Speaking further, Dr. Osonuga noted that with the rapid test kits, timely diagnosis would be available for people to seek urgent medical intervention. “As we know, anything you discover on time is better managed than things you discover too late,” he added. Commenting on the existing health facilities in the University, the Director observed that “Without sounding immodest, the facilities here can still be adjudged to be good. There are some few Universities that have more facilities than us, there is no doubt about that. But when you put it on a scale, you will find out that we are still competitive, at least from what we are doing,” the Director submitted.

Osonuga averred that with the availability of Standard F200 auto-analyzer at the school, the screening machine would make it easy to detect COVID-19 presence in any individual. And that is a plus for the University, he said.

While commending the University Management for being proactive on the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Director maintained that OOU had not only been able to effectively manage it, but had also been able to live up to expectation whenever the need arises. The Vice-Chancellor and members of his Management team, he explained, are quite interested in safety of all the staff, particularly those in health services that are frontliners in attending to patients.

“The issue of COVID-19 is multi-sectoral. Apart from being a local problem, it’s also a national and global problem. Our Health Centre serves as General Hospital and referral to the community. So, you can see that with the COVID-19 that is ravaging the whole nation, there is a big challenge,” Osonuga said.

Scroll to Top