SOKOTO – United States Agency For International Development- sponsored Management Science for Health Project has donated a N50 million Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine to the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDTH), Sokoto.
At a ceremony organised on Friday to unveil the machine, Dr Hamidu Liman, the Co-ordinator, UDUTH-HIV/AIDS Project, said that the machine would be used to measure the viral load of HIV/AIDS patients.
“Majority of the HIV/AIDS patients will end requiring drugs and one of the best ways to monitor the efficacy of these drugs is through the use of the PCR machine to monitor the viral load in the blood of the patients after every three months.
“This is to know in absolute terms the quantity of the virus inside the blood of the patients.
“If it so high, it means the drugs are not working and if it is low, it means the drugs are working,“ Liman explained.
According to him, the machine is also used for HIV/AIDS testing of new born babies, as the conventional ways of conducting the test on adults does not work for babies.
Liman said that the machine could also be used to detect other infections such as Hepatitis A, B and C, Cytomegalovirus, Ebstein Barr and Herpes viruses.
Also, Dr Phillip Bayal, the Deputy Director, HIV/AIDS and TB, USAID, said that the donation of the machine was aimed at boosting healthcare delivery to Nigerians.
“The machine should be managed well and this partnership will be sustained to provide additional support to the hospital,“ Dayal assured.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Yakubu Ahmed, commended USAID-MSH project for donating the machine, saying: “The machine will be very useful to all the patients who come to the hospital from across the country.“ ( NAN)