By NewsDesk, with Agency reports
Worried by the health challenges and economic effects of coronavirus in Nigeria, the Plateau government has inaugurated a 13-man academic research committee to find an home-grown cure for the pandemic and other infectious diseases in the country.
It explained that the members drawn from tertiary institutions in the state, representatives of the state government, the infectious unit of the Department of Medicine, Jos University Teaching Hospital and the National Veterinary Research Institute, were to provide a local solution to the global pandemic.
The State Government, Simon Lalong, said the team which comprises of professionals from the faculties of pharmaceutical, medical and natural sciences had were selected based on their experience in research both locally and internationally, and their track records as problem solvers through research.
The Governor, while speaking at the inauguration ceremony on Monday, the committee had one week to present a proposal to the government and was expected to submit a draft of research prospects within three weeks, while submitting progress report fortnightly, were mandated to research conventional and or alternative remedies for the treatment and cure of COVID-19 and design treatment protocols for the disease.
“The state is endowed with herbal and medicinal products that can be harnessed towards building its capacity to withstand the threat of diseases such as the Coronavirus.
“The practical alternatives proffered by the committee will reduce over-dependence on foreign solutions and help prepare the state in avoiding panic and desperation, if similar situations occur in the future,” Lalong said.
He noted that the committee are to ensure the conduct of clinical trials on the proposed drugs and design control mechanism for the spread of the virus, adding that the committee could incorporate any design that would curtail the pandemic and other subsequent diseases.
Lalong, while appreciating the committee members for accepting the responsibilities toward home-grown solutions to health challenges in the state and Nigeria generally, said the task would set precedent for the development local remedies for future outbreaks.
“The pandemic is a reminder of the need to not only upgrade medical facilities and improve manpower but to develop preventive and curative capacity for infectious diseases,” he said.