The Punch

‘We may be unable to contain future health challenges’

- Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo

Aprofessor of microbiolo­gy at the Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State, Prof. Muse Oke, has expressed concern over inadequate investment in science and technology infrastruc­tures, saying this may prevent the continent from containing future pandemics.

Oke said the situation, coupled with the shortage of well-trained research scientists, might hamper the training of a new generation of African scientists.

The don, while delivering his inaugural lecture, titled, ‘From Bench to Bedside: Structural Biology, Infectious Diseases and Health Security,’ Prof. Oke, said the African continent, which constitute­s 15 per cent of world population, only contribute­s about two per cent of research on diseases.

He called for effective capacity building that will focus on providing adequate training, equipment and research funds to researcher­s in Africa and improving collaborat­ions with wellestabl­ished research groups worldwide.

Oke said, “Future generation­s of African scientists may not be adequately trained and equipped to face present and future health challenges. A major contributi­ng factor to poor research output includes inadequate investment in science and technology infrastruc­tures and education and shortage of a critical mass of well-trained research scientists.

“To facilitate effective capacity building, it is essential to focus on providing adequate training, equipment and research funds to researcher­s in Africa and improving collaborat­ions with wellestabl­ished research groups worldwide.

“The collaborat­ions should be such that the research work would have an impact on the local community, rather than simply adapting to the research need of the well-oiled collaborat­ors overseas.”

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