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Nigeria @61 is ripe for Pharmaceutical independence — an expert says
A Medical Imaging Scientist, Dr. Livinus Abonyi, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for pledging to support research on local COVID-19 vaccines, describing it as the way to go.
Delivering his Independence Day’s broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 61st anniversary on Friday, Buhari pledged the Federal Government’s support for pharmaceutical and research agencies to develop COVID-19 vaccines locally.
He noted that Federal Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Health, Education and Science and Technology had been directed to collaborate with local and international pharmaceutical companies and research organisations, to boost Nigeria’s pharmaceutical capacity.
According to him, this will complement the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing N85 billion Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme.
“The initiative is to support local researchers in the development of vaccines and drugs to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, including COVID-19,” Buhari had said.
Reacting, Abonyi, a Lecturer in the Department of Medical Radiography, Faculty of Clinical Sciences at UNILAG’s College of Medicine, said the country had all it takes for pharmaceutical independence.
According to him, the country has enough human and capital resources to equip its health sector.
“With the level of education, human capital, resources and material endowments of the country, it cannot boast of standard health facilities.
“Nigeria has all it takes to be pharmaceutical independence, but the only missing links are lack of enabling environment, implementation and monitoring capability.
“If only the government can, after allocating funds for projects, follow-up with adequate monitoring and implementation, to ensure that the fund is utilised for set purposes.
“No country can make progress without investing in innovations and research,” he said.
Reacting to the president’s pledge of currently engaging Heads of Courts to establish specialised courts for the speedy and seamless trial of rape/gender-based offences, Abonyi said the focus should be on preventive measures to the menace and not the treatment measures.
He said that government should enact policies that would instill value in the lives of people for them to desist from getting involved in crimes and social vices.
“There is gross disorientation among the people; they no longer have value for human life, culture and social norms.
“The focus should be on preventive measures that will discourage people from getting involved in rape/gender-based offences.
“Let the government get back to the root cause of rape/gender-based violence and address it; the people’s mindset needs to be oriented to know and understand the values of life.
“This will go a long way because the court approach is only a treatment measure,” he said.