Adewole, who was chairman of the 2022 Annual International Conference on Advances in Health, Innovation and Research (ICHAIR), organized by the Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), made the call in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said: “One of my core messages today is the need to transcend, add value and innovation from high quality local research to address our national health needs.
“Nigerians and Africans are known for their resilience, creativity and determination to succeed when given an enabling environment to thrive.
“I am optimistic that the government, the private sector, the research community and the health industry will provide sustainable resources to promote health innovation in the country and Africa.
“This will also provide translational solutions for health and development. ”
He commended NIMR for its immense contribution through various investigations to offer solutions to health problems peculiar to Nigeria and Africa in general.
Adewole, also a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, urged the young conference participants to use the knowledge gained at the event to further their reach in their various scientific fields.
In addition, Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Health Commissioner, said the government must allow NIMR to consensualize research ideas and translate them into innovations that help advance health service delivery.
Abayomi, a special guest at the conference, noted that NIMR was endowed with the necessary physical and human resources to carry out its mandate as the country’s quaternary research institute.
“NIMR is the quaternary institute and is equivalent to the National Institutes of Health in the US and I hope that the federal and state government will recognize NIMR for what it is.
“The government must do more to support NIMR in the areas of research that will offer solutions to our health problem as a nation.
“Most of the grants attracted by the institute are foreign grants and they are tied to these grants, but if they are generated internally, they will be more focused on our problem,” he said.
Speaking earlier, NIMR Director General Prof. Babtunde Salako said that the conference which was started in 2011 and repositioned in 2021 had become a gathering for biomedical professionals and stakeholders inside and outside the country.
Salako said the institute had made good progress in developing diagnostic kits including COVID-19 and rapid molecular test kits, yellow fever and monkeypox test kits, among others.
“This year ICHAIR marks our expansion in reach, reach and content, despite the advances, innovations and public health insights made in containing COVID-19, there have been other health concerns globally.
“A key expectation before the end of this conference is to identify the focus of excellence in the country and deliberate on how innovations and research results can improve health.
“We hope that the government will initiate policies that can catalyze market acceptance of local innovations,” he said.
The Director General praised the Federal Government for improving the financing of the Institute, while calling on the government to obtain more funds through the Basic Medical Care Provision Fund.
He said that the ray of hope for a cure for HIV was possible with ARVs.
Akanmu also said that progress has been made through research to reduce HIV viral load over the years globally.
reports that a newly built Biobank facility was also inaugurated at the institute.
====================Edited /Vivian Ihechu
Source Credit: NAN