Stakeholders seek medical research council establishment

Stakeholders in the health sector have called for the formation of a medical research council to fund research projects that are unique to the country.

The decision was made on Wednesday at a meeting co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to them, if established, the council will fund health research for all health researchers in the country.

Prof Babatunde Salako, Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, stated that most modern successful countries function through research and development, which is supported by a health research funding agency.

"In most African countries, only a few have this type of organization providing specific funding for health research. Even though the government funds research through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, research has not been adequately funded in Nigeria.

"TEDFUND is limited to universities and covers all types of research work."

"Health research has been shown to contribute to human development by increasing life expectancy and health indices. Nigeria's health indicators are poor, and the main reason is a lack of funding for health research in the health system.

"The best thing that can happen to Nigeria is for the country to establish a medical research council to fund health research for all health researchers."

Salako stated that the formation of the council would aid in the provision of local solutions by funding unusual health challenges in Nigeria.

"We may also be able to develop our drugs. "Research can provide new knowledge and new evidence, and more importantly, research can provide evidence for a policy that will have a significant positive impact for decision-makers," he said.

Yusuf Sununu, Chairman of the House Committee on Healthcare Services, also stated that it is past time for research to take center stage in the country.

"One of the essences of this meeting is how to improve our research conduct and documentation and how to get the acceptability of the international community to have a body that can stand for the country and attract resources.

"We have to look into transforming NIMR into a medical research council that can be more effective and can coordinate research funding. "With this research council, there will be many funding modalities that will be put into the council that can be shared with other organizations," Sununu explained.

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