Ongoing Projects

Increase testing capacity for COVID-19 in Nigeria

Funder: BMGF

Project period: 2 November 2021 to 31 October 2022


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, Nigeria has tested approximately 2,779,725 of its citizens with 195,052 confirmed cases, 10,067 active cases, and 2,522 deaths recorded as at September 05, 2021. However, only 1% of the 200 million citizens have had the COVID-19 test done. This low testing capacity is coupled with long sample and test result Turnaround Time (TAT) which negatively impacts the effectiveness of the response. Currently, over 90% of testing for COVID-19 is PCR based and the average national sample and result turnaround time is 72 hours. In light of this, WHO has recommended, “Prioritization of active, exhaustive case finding and immediate testing and isolation, painstaking contact tracing and rigorous quarantine of close contacts”, as the hinges upon which any strategies to prevent the spread and continued transmission of the pandemic needs to be built.


  • To support the improvement and increment in surge capacity for COVID-19 testing towards COVID-19 pandemic prevention and containment in Nigeria.

Expected outcome(s):

  • Increased COVID-19 point of care diagnostic testing capacity at sub-national level
  • Decreased COVID-19 sample and test rest TAT
  • Improved detection of local outbreaks of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities and congregate settings and prompt response
  • Increased SARS-Cov-2 genomic sequencing capacity of the NRL and the Lagos state BSL3 laboratory and biobank
  • Improved epidemiological profiling of the COVID-19 pandemic for more effective evidence-based decision making in the response.
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