Central Nigeria’s Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong on Monday inaugurated a Special Committee for Research on Coronavirus and other infectious diseases.
“It is a known fact that Plateau State is endowed with herbal and medicinal products that could be harnessed to build our capacity to withstand the threat of diseases such as the Coronavirus,” said Mr. Lalong in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
“Our generation is facing perhaps one of its most difficult times,” said the Governor.
COVID-19, Lalong said “has reminded us of the need to be proactive in not only upgrading our medical facilities and improving manpower, but also working ahead to develop preventive and curative capacity for infectious diseases”.
The State, in Lalong’s words, must not only look inwards to find solutions to “the current COVID-19 challenge,” but also use the experience to prepare for the future.
The committee made of researchers from local tertiary institutions, are expected to explore human and capital resources within the State to search for conventional and/or alternative drugs for the treatment and cure of the Corona virus, design treatment protocols for the treatment of the virus, conduct clinical trials on the candidate drug(s), design control mechanism for the spread of the virus and propose any ideas to curb the pandemic and subsequent diseases.
The Committee has one week to present a proposal to Government.
Officials are expecting a draft research design in three weeks, while fortnightly; a progress report would be received, says a statement by the State Director of Press and Public Affairs, Macham Makut.
Members of the Committee include: Prof. Noel N. Wannang – Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Jos (Lead Researcher); Prof. Jacob Kolawole – Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Unijos, Dr. Falang Kakjing – Pharmacology Dept. Unijos, Prof. James Damen – Medical Lab Science, Unijos and Dr. Yusuf Agabi – Virology Unit, Dept of Microbiology, Unijos.
Others include Dr. Richard Kutshik – Dept. of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Unijos, Dr. Bukar Bukata – Pharmacology, Unijos, Dr Ajima Ukpe – Medicinal & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Unijos and Dr. Ken Amagon – Pharmacology & Toxicology, Unijos.
Also in the Committee is Dr. Longdet I. Yohanna – Biochemistry, Unijos, Representative of the Plateau State Ministry of Health, Representative from the Infectious Unit of Medicine Department, JUTH, and Representative from Veterinary Research Institute, Vom.