Africa should not Be Hub of Diseases, Says Minister

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By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said Africa should not be the hub of diseases, as the continent has what it takes to improve on its health care delivery system.

Speaking while playing host to the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI) in his office in Abuja Tuesday, Onu said that the ministry would work closely with ANDI to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria and by extension to Africa and beyond, stressing that the federal government has the capacity to making sure that the objectives of ANDI is realised.

“Our aspiration is not just Nigeria and Africa, we want to influence the world market in respect to drugs of diseases that cannot be cured now. We will support whatever you are doing that is in the interest of the country. We want any research we do to be of great relevance to the needs of the nation, be it pure, basic or applied research.

“ANDI is very important and very strategic to the needs of Africa.  We don’t want Africa to be the hub of diseases. We don’t want it, we don’t want whenever you want the face of disease, then you bring an African face, or the face of hunger, then, you bring an African face. We must work to make sure that doesn’t happen. We believe we have what it takes to achieve it,” Onu said.

Earlier, the Executive Director of ANDI, Mr. Solomon Nwaka, revealed that in spite of the diseases that are proportionally affecting Africa, the continent only accounts for 0.2 per cent of patents out of thousands coming out around the world.

Details later…