The Institute of Human Virology, IHVN, and Access Bank Plc, yesterday, unveiled plans to establish a N5 billion world class Medical Research Centre for infectious and non infectious diseases on Nigerian soil.
Some of the diseases expected to be researched into include HIV&AIDS, tuberculosis, Lassa fever, cancer, among others.
The centre will be under the leadership of Professor Alash’le G. Abimiku, a distinguished scientist and will be used to create an enabling environment for creative thinking and innovation in science to address Nigeria’s and global health priorities.
Making the announcement at a press conference in Lagos on the collaboration with Access Bank, IHVN, and Dangote Foundation to raise N5 billion for the centre, Chief Executive Officer of IHVN, Dr. Patrick Dakum, said the building of the centre would improve the management of infectious diseases that had continued to ravage communities across the country.
“Nigerians have been victims of many disease outbreaks in the last three decades now, HIV has claimed the lives of many Nigerians, Ebola and most, recently, Lassa fever have become diseases of great public health concern because of their devastating consequences on the lives of the population, especially the productive sector,” he said.
Executive Director, Access Bank, Victor Etuokwu, said the ultra-modern research facility would go a long way to help nip diseases in the bud.
He said: “The true essence of life is relationship with others. It’s the real reason we are here. When we sit back and watch diseases take over while we do nothing, we stand to lose everything. So here is a call to you to come, join hands with IHVN and help restore hope.”
On her part, Managing Director/CEO of Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, noted that the foundation was partnering with IHVN as part of its strategic objectives. According to her, health is pivotal to achieving other components, which are education and socio-economic development.