NVRI STATEMENT ON LEAKED COVID-19 CONFIDENTIAL TEST RESULTS
The attention of the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom was drawn to Laboratory Tests Results of some COVID-19 suspected cases for Plateau State currently circulating on several platforms on the internet.
As a reputable and highly professional Institution with almost 100 years of providing quality diagnostic laboratory services, we are shocked to witness this highly unethical and unprofessional action.
Having given the relevant authorities sufficient notice to act, and also being constantly inundated with calls from our local, national and international partners for clarifications, it has become necessary to state as follows:
1. The NVRI Vom is the National Veterinary Laboratory and has consistently provided high quality diagnostic and research data for many years.
2. The professionalism of the staff of the laboratory has led to our laboratory serving as regional testing centre for some highly pathogenic and zoonotic diseases like avian influenza (H5N1) and monkeypox viruses, always delivering quality services to even other African countries. The laboratory has served in this capacity for upwards of 15 years in our recent history without any breach in confidentiality.
3. An important component of our quality management system and practice has been constantly demonstrated by the stringent adherence to professional ethics which is at the core of our values as an institution.
4. Never in our history has our integrity and professionalism been brought to question. It is therefore with shock and grave concern that we witness what has transpired with some of the COVID-19 test results for Plateau State.
5. There is an established system of communication of COVID-19 diagnostic results developed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) and in line with global best practice where patient confidentiality is paramount, and the NVRI Laboratory has strictly followed this protocol from inception.
6. As an institution with excellent record of professional and ethical practice, our laboratory did not break the stated protocol above and therefore did not in any way or form divulge the said results to the public.
7. The NVRI Vom testing laboratory has received samples from other States in the country including Plateau State since it commenced testing of human samples for COVID-19, and we cannot but wonder how such a confidential document for Plateau State found its way to the social media and other online platforms. This action has placed everything the NVRI holds true and stands for in a bad light and threatens our well-established reputation.
8. The NVRI laboratory condemns in strong terms this breach of ethics and dissociates itself from any form of propagation of the same.
9. We therefore call on all stakeholders involved in managing COVID-19 case information for Plateau State to quickly take definitive action by investigating this breach of professional ethics and deal with it in order to forestall any future occurrence.
10. We wish to restate our unflinching support to the collective fight against this pandemic and declare the Institute’s resolute determination in providing technical support in the most professional manner while upholding the most stringent ethical values at all times.
11. We remain grateful to all those who immediately called our attention to this incidence while expressing their confidence in the fact that such breach of protocol would be highly unlikely to emanated from us. Your confidence is of great value to us and for this we are grateful.
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