Tanzania Tanzanian illness infectious unknown disease mystery bacteria bacterium
8 people have died as a result of an unknown illness in Sokoto State.

Infectious Diseases Experts Urge FG To Increase Research Funding

Health experts on infectious diseases have been appealing to the federal government to prioritise funding of research in the country, stating that unless funding of research was kept on the front burner, Nigeria’s desire to become a world-class country would be a mere dream.

Speaking on Monday in Abuja, during the 1st Scientific Seminar of the International Research Centre of Excellence (IRCE), organised by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, the experts insisted that the government must begin to realise that funding health infrastructure and services was entirely different from funding research.

A Professor of Medicine and co-founder of the Institute of Human Virology, Baltimore Maryland, Prof. Williams Blattner, at the event, said Nigeria has rich intellectual capacity to excel in research if only government can create opportunities for them through funding of research.

Blattner, who is also the founder of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), explained that he was involved in developing Nigeria’s capacity to implement the United States president’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, IHVN that has provided HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to many Nigerians.

The Chief Executive Officer of IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum, in his address, tasked the government to consider funding research a top priority, given that no nation rises to its desired height without research.

According to him, the government must be deliberate in that development is specifically hinged on research. “We have rich intellectual capacity in Nigeria, all we need is for government to open opportunities, especially in terms of funding.

Read Also: Infectious Diseases: Consultant Advises Nigerians on Hand Hygiene as Culture

“Go to the universities and ask them how much is their research budget in terms of Naira, it’s very minimal. So, I believe that government must be deliberate in that development is specifically hinged on research, and if we neglect research, we are neglecting the future. And this, we will never be that world-class that we want to be,” he said.

He said his organisation, like any other research institute in the country, would continue to advocate for research funding through data presentation to the government, “One low-hanging fruit is the expansion of the community health insurance programme. Once we can do that, it can cover the basics.”

“At IHVN, science and data define and guide the work that we do in implementing public health programs; in caring for and treating people infected and affected by infectious and non-communicable diseases.

“With research, we are gradually improving science and advancing knowledge for the benefit of society and public health. As we utilize the knowledge gained through research, we will continue to expand the capacity of the country to provide quality health interventions for its people.

“Considering the strategic role that research plays, IRCE, led by its Executive Director, Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, has become the future of the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. It is a future that sustains a world-class platform for the implementation of research and clinical trials at international standards as part of global networks. It is also a future that continues to facilitate capacity building for researchers to excel in undertaking research of the highest scientific and ethical standards.”

Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, the Executive Director of the International Research Centre of Excellence, IRCE of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, thanked Nigeria for its contributions to solving health issues, urging the government to take the issue of funding research seriously.