Every prospective corp member in Nigeria should already know about the mandatory NYSC Covid-19 testing done at all the 37 orientation camps in Nigeria. This is due to the Federal Government’s effort to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nigeria has recorded over 200,000 infections, with 2896 deaths according to NCDC. Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, and Kaduna tops the charts while Kogi, Zamfara, and Yobe have the lowest recorded cases and infection rates.
The exercise is carried out by the Nigeria Center for Control of Disease (NCDC) in conjunction with NYSC. I was part of the team that carried out the testing in the Sokoto camp.
Steps in NYSC Covid-19 testing
- Every prospective corp member who has registered for NYSC is expected to visit the NYSC COVID-19 RDT Testing Self-Reporting Form web page
- Fill the page with the right information and tick any box with the symptoms you have been feeling.
- Download the Covid-19 reporting slip (in colored print only)
This form will be presented at the NYSC camp to the NCDC officials positioned at the entrance. They will use the form to carry out your Covid-19 test and validate your result.
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The testing method used
The current testing method employed in NYSC camps in Nigeria is the Rapid diagnostic test. The World Health Organization approved two antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests – SD Biosensor and Abbott (AgRDTs)
These two are used in the NYSC orientation camps across Nigeria. They can detect the disease with a sensitivity of >80% and also those without the disease with a specificity of >97%.
It should be noted that Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test remains the best. It is recommended for areas with lower prevalence such as the airport too. It is also used to confirm a positive test after testing with the AgRDT method.
The testing is done at the entrance of the NYS C camp where the NCDC officials are positioned. You will find the AgRDT test a bit uncomfortable and irritating. A swab stick is used to collect a nasopharyngeal sample. The sample is tested and the result shows in a matter of minutes.
Note: Saliva is not used for the testing as there are no adequate data based on the sensitivity of such method.
After the test result is out, and you are negative, your result will be validated and you will proceed with the rest of your registration at the camp.
However, if you are confirmed positive after the test, then you have SARS Cov-2 infection. Do not panic as you will be well taken care of and still complete your NYSC registration.
NYSC camps have isolation facilities to take care of those with Covid-19 infections pending when they turn out negative.
Frequently asked Questions
1. How long will I stay in the Isolation center before I will be retested?
You will stay in the camp isolation center for 14 days before you will be retested. If you are negative, you will now join other corp members. Generally, most people turn negative after the 14 days isolation period.
2. Will I still get registered if I am positive?
All positive cases are given special consideration in the NYSC camp. They are being registered in the camp even when they are still in isolation. They will get their state code, platoon, and every incentive in the camp.
The only thing is that you will be limited in your movement around the camp pending when your result turns negative.
3. If I am already vaccinated, will I still go through Covid-19 testing?
Of course, we met a lot of people who came with their vaccination cards. Their argument is that since they have received their double doses of vaccines already, they should not be subjected to another vaccine.
However, in the NYSC camp, everybody is tested including the state coordinators and other staff without bias. There have been also reports about fake vaccination cards acquired by people. NYSC is thereby strict with its method to avoid any incidence in the camp.
4. Can I get a vaccine in the camp?
Yes. Because the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has been empowered by the Federal Government to carry out the vaccination in every NYSC camp.
Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and AstraZeneca are different vaccine options available in Nigeria at the moment.
They are readily available and you can go there and you can go there and get your own vaccines for free.
You can register for the vaccine here and they will follow you up with a call and SMS on the nearest place to get your own vaccine