32 Nigerian universities tackle COVID-19

Posted by News Express | 4 August 2020 | 927 times

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The National Universities Commission NUC, has announced the involvement of 32 Universities, Public and Private, in different stages of research towards addressing direct and collateral impacts of Covid-19.

The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, said that the research would be building up over the coming months while reporting efforts of other universities until Covid-19 is consigned to history and lessons  for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.

Professor Rasheed made this known in Abuja on Tuesday while briefing Journalists on the contribution of the Nigerian University System in mitigating the impact of Covid-19.

” As at June 22, not less than 32 universities are involved in different stages of research aimed at galvanising research towards the development of vaccines and non vaccines.

“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system. Only few institutions have been able to utilise open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.

“Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organised national research and innovation system to catalyse the national response,” Professor Rasheed stated.

He stressed that in the area of Genomic research, the African Centers of Excellence (ACE), particularly the Center for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, Ede was collaborating with the University of Cambridge for the development of vaccines.

Professor Rasheed said that ”other ACEs in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Universities of Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt and Jos which served as national testing and screening centres had proved that world-class research and development was possible in Nigeria.”

He, therefore, stated that the country’s University System could be readily effective and relevant to national development if research is valued and adequately funded and the institutions provided with resources to motivate researchers and innovators including students.

On the current efforts of herbal remedies, Professor Rasheed said the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari on herbal and natural products development was acknowledged following the great demonstration of enviable political leadership by the President of Madagascar.

“Such will go a long way to motivate homegrown developments and innovation in science and technology by the NUC, including anti Covid-19 human immunity boosting foods.

“Furthermore, Nigeria needs to develop homegrown capabilities in the production and manufacture of the most basic medical and pharmaceutical products such as Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, WASH accessories, and ventilators.

“Limited developments are reported from the few on-going research, but these give some hope that the NUC can provide the R&D base for responding to these needs and much needed structural reconfiguration of the economy.  (Text, excluding headline, courtesy VON)


Source: News Express

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