Africa yet to contribute to Covid-19 Vaccine – Prof. Igietseme
Africa is yet to make any contribution to the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, American trained Professor of Immunology and Microbiology. Professor Joseph Igietseme told Elombah Television during video conference anchored in United Kingdom (UK).
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The Chief of Molecular Pathogenesis Laboratory, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA, said the world is in a race to produce a vaccine for Covid-19.
Although, the Georgetown University trained Professor admitted that South Africa is making some efforts, but it may be collaborative efforts.
Checks by our correspondent revealed Oxford University rolled out Africa’s first human trials for a potential vaccine against the new coronavirus in South Africa in June.
The trial, conducted with local partner University of the Witwatersrand, will consist of 2,000 volunteers from 18 to 65 years of age, including some HIV positive patients, who will be monitored for 12 months after vaccination to access how well the vaccine guard against Covid-19.
“Everybody around the world is in the race both in the private sector, the academia and public sector, everybody is on the race.
“It will be good if we can find something that Africa will contribute to a vaccine or therapy.
“I am not sure we can make this contribution, we are part of this world, Africa can’t just be a dumping ground for technology, finished science and the rest of it.
“We should be part of the upstream event that leads to a solution, we can’t just be users.
“So, if you look at, for example the vaccines that are out there, vaccines can be produced in different ways, all the vaccine you heard , there are several ways you get the vaccine.
“However, right now you can see the countries that are in the front line and the role of public sector and private industry, North America is leading the pack with lot of investments in vaccine research, most of them are at different stages of development, but there is no vaccine yet.
“The point therefore is, what will Africa contribute to the solution. We need to have a place on the table.
“As a scientist I will be very happy to see somewhere in Africa, I read that South Africa is making some efforts, but we will see, it may be collaborative efforts.
“I am not aware of specific scientific research relating to controlling this virus yet in Africa, preventing it, serious cure that is out there, there is need to probe ourselves, how do we contribute to civilization.
“There were a lot of contributions that Africa made historically, but today is today, we are facing this challenge today, how can we be part of solution to Covid-19,” Prof. Igietseme said during the Elombah Television video conference on Friday.
Igietseme had asked Nigeria to take “Agbo” herbal medicine to the next level saying Nigeria will not be respected if we maintain “Agbo” at crude concoction level.
“Agbo” is a Yoruba word that describes a concoction of medicinal plant parts – bark, root, trunk, leaves – steeped or boiled in alcohol or water.