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Scientists task Nigeria on advances in HIV research

Nigerian researchers and advocates have advised the government and other stakeholders to strengthen funding and infrastructure for medical research particularly in the area of HIV.

They made the call during the HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P 2018) global conference in Madrid, Spain.

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The researchers said it was worrisome that Nigeria which has the second largest burden of HIV/AIDS in the world lags behind in advances in HIV research globally.

Speaking separately during interviews with Daily Trust, Orobosa Enadeghe, an epidemiologist, and Leaving No Nigerian Behind champion, James Egheghe, a medical biochemist and director of Equal Health and Rights Access Advocacy Initiative, Rashidi Williams of Equal Triangle Initiative, as well as  Dr Kakanfo Kunle, a researcher  said the country is behind countries in East and Southern Africa in HIV research.

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Countries such as Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, among others, made presentations on latest researches that could end the disease at the conference.

Orobosa Enadeghe said it is difficult to attain development in any country that is not research driven. “We need enabling environment as researchers, advocates and community members affected,” he said.

Dr Kakanfo Kunle said there are a lot of Nigerians doing biomedical research on immunology, and basic vaccine research outside the country but find it difficult to do so in Nigeria because of poor infrastructure and funding for health.

On Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), James Egheghe, and Rashidi Williams decried the situation where Nigeria still carries out demonstration study years on when other African countries have moved onto research.

Dr Sylvia Adebajo, Country Director Population Council, and Nigerian researcher with over 15 years-experience in health behaviour and systems research, said new biomedical tools in HIV prevention should be made available to the populace. She stated that with increased enlightenment, people would use them.

 


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