The Oasis Reporters
January 20, 2021
It's sad, shameful and a total disgrace. Why can't the largest Black country with over 150 universities and thousands of core scientists develop it's own vaccine? Why use 400 billion Naira to import vaccine when our professors need less than 50 billion to deliver!!!— Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM) (@dino_melaye) January 12, 2021
India has activated its Vaccine nationalism by rushing through its own Covid-19 vaccine, produced by Indian scientists and doctors in record time. There has been little or no time for enough clinical trials.
But knowing India, a nation that sent a spacecraft to Mars successfully at first attempt on a low budget, too small to make a movie with, the world now knows that the incredible nation belongs to the realm of endless possibilities.
So Dino Melaye has asked for some money to be allocated to Nigerian doctors and scientists to produce a Nigerian made vaccine.
And it makes eminent sense.
It’s been announced though, that 10 billion dollars has been allotted for the Covid-19 vaccine dream.
A team of Nigerian professors and scientists, named IVERCOVID Research Group, has investigated the effectiveness and roles that the Ivermectin drug can play in the treatment of coronavirus.
This was revealed in a statement on Tuesday last week by Mr Laolu Akande, the media aide to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
He noted that the team, which comprised Nigerian scholars at home and abroad, has also submitted its report on the usefulness of the drug to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has already appointed a Peer Review expert from the United Kingdom.
Akande disclosed that the health experts briefed Professor Osinbajo who welcomed the efforts by the team on Monday.
The group is led by a Principal Investigator, Professor Femi Babalola, and the Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Professor Chris Bode.
Its members are Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council at LUTH, Professor Lanre Adeyemo; a United States-based clinical pharmacologist, Professor Adesuyi Ajayi; two project virologists – Professor S.A Omilabu and Dr Olumuyiwa Salu; and the Project Coordinator, Dr Felix Alakaloko.
The group stated that it has forwarded a report of its findings, titled “A randomised controlled trial for the repurposing of Ivermectin in the management of COVID-19,” to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
In his remarks, the vice president was excited that Nigeria and Nigerians were at the cutting edge of scientific research into the COVID-19 treatment.
“We have an opportunity here and I am so fascinated to hear this drug has been used in the treatment of River Blindness in this country,” he was quoted as saying.
Professor Osinbajo believes that with the report, Nigeria is at an advantage both in knowledge and availability of the drug, especially since Ivermectin has been found useful not only in the treatment of COVID-19 but also as a preventive medication.
He stated that the Federal Government would further explore ways to support the research for the benefit of Nigerians and humanity generally, while also advancing the effective funding of scientific research in the country.
It would be noted that months after the Nigerian civil war in 1970, the country faced an outbreak of cholera that took so many lives. The outbreak was effectively checked when a team of scientists led by Dr. Njoku from the war battered University of Nigeria, Nsukka worked round the clock to produce an effective antidote and stopped the outbreak.
This can be done again.
Additional reporting: Channels TV