Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ambassador Sanders' Remarks at the 445 Air Force Lab, Lagos

Welcoming Remarks

Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders

Thursday, October 30
9:00-10:00 AM
445 Air Force Lab, Lagos

All Other Protocols Duly Observed.

Good morning!

I am very happy to be here today as part of this training program sponsored by the government and people of the United States of America. By focusing on blood chemistry techniques my hope is that you will further develop your laboratory skills so you can continue to do the important and meaningful work you do: supporting and saving the lives of those affected by HIV.

This training is one of many programs throughout Nigeria sponsored by the U.S. Government and specifically the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief or PEPFAR. Our PEPFAR program in Nigeria has several goals but its primary focus is to support prevent diagnose and treat HIV. The U.S. Mission in Nigeria through its partnership with the Nigerian Military is helping to build capacity within the military to achieve this goal. And this training center is a critical part of our shared capacity building efforts.

The most critical component of capacity building is human development. While the transfer of technology and the provision of equipment are important it is really the skills you develop here and implement at your site; the professionalism and ownership of the roles you display in your daily interactions; and the knowledge you share and pass down to others that will serve as the key building blocks for your and your country's future. With this graduating, class the 445 Nigerian Air Force Hospital Laboratory Training Center will have confined diplomas to over one hundred Nigerian Military Medical Laboratory Scientists and Technicians. This training center is clearly developing the scientists of today and teachers of tomorrow and is helping to build Nigeria's future.

I am pleased to see that the U.S. Mission and our partners at the Nigerian Ministry of Defense have identified and assembled a very impressive group of presenters and trainers who possess vast experience. I would urge all of you to take full advantage of their expertise this week. The success here will be determined by your participation in discussions and I encourage each of you to share your experiences with each other and with your facilitators.

In closing let me say that you are not in this alone. The U.S. Mission in Nigeria, which represents the U.S. Government, is in partnership with the Nigerian Ministry of Defense on this project and we are committed to supporting you in your personal and professional development. I wish you all a very productive successful training session and appreciate the opportunity to be here with you this morning.

Thank you.