With initial funding from the World Bank, the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) was founded in 2014 as one of the centres of excellence aimed at reducing the shortage of skilled personnel and inadequate tools for research and innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges. ACEGID is a platform for training the next generation of African genomic scientists and contributing to the understanding of circulating health threats, as well as have effective outbreak preparedness and response.
Through research excellence, ACEGID has secured funding for high impact studies on infectious diseases from the United States Department of Defence, National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, and United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, ELMA Philanthropies, Rockefeller Foundation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Skoll Foundation, FluLab Foundation as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.
ACEGID has been extending the frontiers of research on infectious diseases in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. It can be recalled that in 2014, ACEGID confirmed the first case of Ebola in Nigeria within 6 hours, a singular feat that led to early and successful containment, management and control of the disease in Nigeria. Ever since, ACEGID has been spearheading research, training and developments on infectious diseases in Africa. Working with our international partners, we have developed rapid testing kits that determine the presence of Ebola virus and Lassa fever virus within 10 minutes. The World Health Organization and United States Food and Drug Administration approved the Ebola Virus Rapid Diagnostics Test for emergency use in March 2015.
The centre continues to drive innovation in using genomics for surveillance, characterization and diagnosis of infectious diseases as well as for vaccine and drug development. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Centre for Disease Control in September 2020, designated ACEGID as one of two continental reference laboratories for the genomic sequencing of Covid-19, and other emerging pathogens. The WHO and Africa CDC also made ACEGID one of two African hubs of excellence for infectious disease research development, innovations and training. These are recognitions of the capacity of our centre in driving translational top range genomics research and training. We are committed to continuous research and innovation and capacity building.