ILORIN - A university lecturer and Professor of Medical Virology at the University of Ilorin, Mathew Olatunji Kolawole, has said that his research team had developed three viable proposals for research on various aspects of the contagious disease.
Prof. Kolawole, who is the Director of the University’s Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology (IMSB) disclosed this in Ilorin.
Reports shows that this development followed the move by policy makers in the nation’s health sector to grapple with the challenge of finding effective medication to curb the raging Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
He noted that his team of researchers had prepared proposals for the development of vaccines, molecular epidemiology surveillance for COVID-19 as well as a prototype for the detection of COVID-19, adding, however, that the only impediment is funding to support the research.
According to the varsity don, “Proposals have been written by me and some of my research team. One is on the development of a vaccine; another has to do with molecular epidemiology surveillance for COVID-19 and the third has to do with developing a prototype for case detection.
“The prototype will hopefully be ready by next week for a pre-test. Once it is ready and fine, we will be seeking for funds. To develop the prototype for case detection, we have been using their personal funds.
“I have used my personal funds; and members of my team have also contributed personal funds to develop the prototype, this is the bane of research in Nigeria. Ideas are there but when you don’t have funds you can do nothing.
“I want to use this channel to appeal to the government to give us money”, explaining that “there is capacity to do more if research is funded”.
Kolawole further stressed that, “ASUU is on strike and we have not received salary for February and March but I have been working and spending my money on research. If I can do this it shows the passion and level of commitment I have for research”.
He also recalled that he was the first to report the Coronavirus in Nigeria in 2017, adding that if his work had been taken seriously, Nigeria would have been better prepared to combat COVID-19.
“I was the first to report Coronavirus – OC229E/NL63 in Nigeria in 2017”, the renowned researcher said, adding, “It is a srain of the Coronavirus family – not COVID-19. If the Nigerian government had taken heed at that time they would have put much in place before COVID-19 came.
“The research was funded with international partners in the U.S. with a grant from the National Science Foundation; but I was the one that did the local research” he added.
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