*Commences local production of ventilators
By Martins Ifijeh
The federal government has disclosed that researchers in the country’s universities are working on vaccine and cure for COVID-19.
It has also commenced local production of ventilators as part of efforts to ensure COVID-19 patients who require the intensive care equipment get them.
Speaking during the Morning Show on Arise TV, the broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, Tuesday, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuna, said so far, a N5 billion fund had been created for research and that coordinated activities had commenced among researchers in the country on finding vaccines that could help in the prevention of the coronavirus disease.
He said: “Nigerian Universities are working very hard to finding a solution, and this is being done in a coordinated manner; some are doing researches at the molecular level, other are looking at the vaccine levels, and so on.
“I spoke to the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, and he told me they were already talking to all the universities to coordinate research effort against COVID-19. The coordination is important because the World Health Orgnisation (WHO) has stressed on coordinated race. It is not a competitive race.
“The executive secretary of the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) is also coordinating the efforts of everybody so we know who is doing what. They need to know who is researching on the molecular level, vaccine level, and the rest. The universities are providing some sort of guidance to the researchers,” he said.
He also mentioned that the Federal Ministry of Education was also working towards providing electronic learning for primary and secondary students through the use of radios, televisions, and the internet, adding that this would ensure they are also learning while staying at home.
In the same vein, the Director General of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Adigwe, told THISDAY Tursday that the parastatal had commenced testing for locally produced ventilators as this would help curb the scarcity of the medical equipment in the country.
“One other thing we have done is to commence clinical trial for drugs for possible vaccine and cure against COVID-19 presently ravaging the world,” the global health and policy strategist said.