Fed Govt hires TETfund, NUC to conduct research on COVID-19

By Moses Emorinken, Abuja

The Federal Government will contract the Higher Education Trust Fund (TETfund) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to increase its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The director general of the Nigeria Disease Control Center (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, stated this on Thursday in Abuja during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) daily briefing on COVID-19 control.

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But the government has ruled out donating funds for research on Coronavirus disease.

Ihekweazu said: “In the past few days, we have started to focus more on the research side. We brought TETFund and NUC together, under the leadership of the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, to start thinking about what research priorities are for us in Nigeria and how we can drive this research forward.

Read too: COVID-19 is an opportunity to redefine socioeconomic structures – Osinbajo

“This is not only in the long term, but also in the short term, and about how we can use it to improve our own guidelines, as well as to train and become a benchmark for our own response. We are participating in the World Health Organization (WHO) solidarity test.

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“We share our initial sequencing of the first viruses and many colleagues are doing a lot more in this. We have just started a study called the first hundreds of cases in a protocol adapted from the WHO protocol that we will share with many other countries.

“NCDC is working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Center for Human Virology and Geonomy, Center for Human and Zoonotic Virology at the University Hospital of Lagos (LUTH) and many others in the academic sphere to start thinking about how we can further develop our response … "

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