By Felix Khanoba and Ralph Izopu
President Muhammadu Buhari has granted immediate approval for the funding of six Medical Simulation, Research and Training Facilities in six colleges of medicine through the Tertiary Education TrustFund (TETFund).
The facilities will see to the setting up ofMolecular Science Laboratories with capacity for testing and diagnostics ofCovid-19, Lassa Fever, and related viral diseases.
Already, the Minister of Education, Mallam AdamuAdamu, has directed the Executive-Secretary (ES) of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bagoro, to select a university in each of the six geo-political zones, where the projects would be executed.
In addition, TETFund has been mandated to establish 12 Medical Centers of Excellence to be hosted by first, second and third generation universities.
These centers of excellence, according to the directive, should be distributed in such a way that two must be cited in each geo-political zone.
Statements signed by Mrs. Ngoba Priye Briggs,Director, Public Affairs and her counterpart, Buhari Mikailu, Director,Physical Infrastructure Development, TETFund, revealed that additional centers of excellence would be cited in State Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in “subsequent years”.
The statement further noted that, “the focus areas of the Centers of Excellence, in line with contemporary practice and technologies are mainly in science-based disciplines”.
In the statement, the Minister of Education, MallamAdamu Adamu, emphasized that “ongoing research work in response to Covid-19 and similar diseases through the TETFund National Research Fund (NRF),the Research Community of the Federal Ministry of Education should undertake any other sundry contributions in support of the Presidential Task Force (PTF)in responding to the threat of Covid-19” in the country.
The statements noted that the Presidential approval was initiated through the recommendation of TETFund Board of Trustees (BOT) and endorsement of the Minister, Malam Adamu.
It would be recalled that since the Covid-19pandemic hits the country towards the end of February, there has not been any discernible home-grown therapy against the disease.
Several universities, scientists and researchers who came up with claims to the cure or remedial treatment, never received expected attention from the Nigeria Academy of Sciences, nor appropriate regulatory agencies.