Abuja, March 10, 2017 (TNE): The International Centre of Excellence, Institute of Human Virology, is to open International Research Centres of Excellence in Nigeria, its Executive Director, Ms Alash’le Abimiku has said.
Abimiku made this known on Thursday in Abuja when she led a team from the institute to visit the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu in his office in Abuja on Thursday.
She said that the team was in the ministry to acquaint the minister of the intention of the institute to open the centres in Abuja and Lagos.
“One of the things we have done is that we launched a six-storey building in Lagos last year for the Centre of Excellence and we are in the process of setting a building in Abuja for another centre.
“We already have a piece of land and the excavation is being done,” she said.
She solicited the support of the ministry in the establishment of the centre.
Abimiku said that in setting up the centre, the institute was working with its collaborators in the University of Maryland, U.S., and other universities in Nigeria, for grants.
“We are intending to set up about eight different laboratories with different specifications, depending on the kind of work they do in terms of science, innovation and diagnosis.
“I don’t think we can do without the full collaboration and cooperation with your ministry,” she said.
Responding, the minister indicated the readiness of his ministry to collaborate with the institute to curtail diseases.
Onu said that the ministry would do all it could to ensure that the partnership with the institute would help fight diseases in the country.
“We in the federal ministry of science and technology will be happy to support you and see how we can utilise the talents and skills you have to help us fight and defeat diseases in the country.
“The ministry is working on quite a number of diseases, and I am sure you are aware that one of our agencies developed a different approach to the management of sickle cell anaemia.
“Instead of using drugs, the pathway now is to use nutrition to help manage sickle cell anaemia and this has worked very well and May and Baker has agreed to commercialise it,” he said.
Onu said that the ministry was happy over the plan by the institute to establish eight different laboratories in the country.
According to him, diagnosis is critical in understanding the problem before an antidote.
Onu said that his ministry was interested in making sure that all multi-national corporations operating in the country established research laboratories instead of depending on those laboratories of their home countries.
“There are certain problems that may be unique to Nigeria that will require our environment for the research to be effectively done,” he said.
The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) was established in 2004 as an affiliate of the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, U.S.
IHNV is structured to develop and maintain linkages with local and international organisations in collaborative ways that support the government’s health sector strategic plan.
It has grown to become a leading local NGO addressing the HIV and AIDS crises in Nigeria through the development of infrastructure for treatment, care, prevention and support for people living with HIV.
The institute has now expanded its services to other infectious and non-infectious diseases including cancer, tuberculosis and malaria. (TNE)