A world-renowned cancer researcher and professor of pharmacology at the University of Maiduguri, Professor Isa Marte Hussaini, has called for greater commitment on the part of the government to the funding of research in the country.
The university don stated this in his keynote presentation at the investiture ceremony of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy where six distinguished professionals were inducted as fellows. Those inducted include Director-General, Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, Prof. Karniyus Gamaniel, former deputy provost, University of Lagos, Prof.
Herbert Coker; one-time national pharmaceutical advisor, World Health Organisation, Dr. Ogori Taylor; first African woman to bag the fellowship of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in the US and Professor of Pharmaceutics, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye; Pharmacy Residency Director, Mercer University College at Atlanta Medical Center, Dr.. Teresa Pounds and communications management consultant and CEO XLR8, Calixthus Okoruwa.
According to Hussaini, “Inadequate funding is still a big challenge for Research and Development in Nigeria, as well as lack of constant power supply and non- availability of reagents which we have to buy from US and UK. We need more research grants in our country; it is not about the personnel but the tools to work with. All over the world, there are Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the field of medicine.
Prof. Hussaini whose cancer research is exploring the use of local herbs in cancer therapy reminded the audience that “cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, the first being cardiovascular diseases with 8.2 million deaths reported worldwide as at 2012. Sadly, a lot of the research grants in Nigeria are focused on deaths arising from preventable diseases like Malaria, TB when we should really be funding ground breaking research on cancer. We have seen fruitful evidence of the use of local herbs in the management of cancer in Nigeria.”
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is a specialized academy that among others, seeks to promote scientific research and professional development especially in the health, pharmaceutical and related sectors to help overcome challenges posed by pain and disease as well as fast-track social and economic development in Nigeria and beyond.