Nigeria identifies three drugs for Lassa fever treatment
The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has identified three candidate drugs for repositioning and repurposing for Lassa fever treatment and eradication.
Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, NABDA’s Director-General, revealed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Mustapha stated that the research was spearheaded by scientists at the agency’s Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics Department, led by its Director, Prof. Oyekanmi Nash, in collaboration with other researchers.
“This is NABDA’s contribution towards finding a lasting solution to Lassa fever disease in Nigeria.
“Diseases are increasing on a yearly basis. So, NABDA has repositioned and repurposed three candidate drugs for the treatment of Lassa fever,’’ he said.
He expressed optimism that the drugs would address the challenges faced in treating patients diagnosed with Lassa fever.
The NABDA boss recalled that on Wednesday, March 2, eminent scientists, researchers, medical practitioners and technology experts held a meeting in Abuja.
He said the objective of the meeting was to discuss the method and processes of putting the drugs on clinical trial towards meeting plans to completely eradicate Lassa fever in Nigeria.
He added that with the breakthrough the challenge was to intensify surveillance and response by ensuring the availability of diagnostic centres across most affected regions.
Mustapha said although funding was a major setback to research, he expressed optimism that the 0.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) allocated to research and innovation by President Muhammadu Buhari could assist.
He said the allocation was encouraging, and that scientists should be happy about it.
“I hope it will be implemented before another administration comes to power for it will not only propel research but will encourage scientists in Diaspora to come home and help develop our nation,” he said.
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