DON ADVOCATES TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH
- Calls on African Academics to imbibe Afrocentrism
The Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State recently organized an inspiring, thought provoking and action-evoking lecture as part of the institution’s Lecture Series. The lecture “From Research to Production/Practice: A case study in Biotechnology”, was geared towards repositioning the research capacity of the University academic staff by refocusing them towards adaptive, translational and problem-specific research that can help in providing solutions to problems confronting humanity.
While addressing the participants, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba reaffirmed his commitment towards problem-led research, noting that the era when research is carried out for research sake was over in the University.
“We shall not accept any research that will not provide solutions to problems affecting us. We are not likely to have solution for prostate cancer and Malaria in our society if we keep on waiting on the Europeans to do research on those ailments that affect Africans”, he stressed.
The Vice Chancellor charged the University academics to tap into the abundant natural resources surrounding us to solve numerous challenges facing the immediate communities of the university in particular and the nation at large, adding that it was only evident-based researches that can turn the society around for better.
Delivering a lecture “From Research to Production/Practice: A case study in Biotechnology”, Kenneth A. Yongabi, an Associate Professor of Public Health in the School of Health and Medical Sciences, Catholic University Bermenda, Cameroon, x-rayed myriads of challenges facing African Countries, noting that until African academics start to look inward and imbibe adaptive and translational research, challenges such as malaria, HIV/Aids, Cancer, Poor sanitation, Lack of Portable Water and the likes would remain prevalent in the continent.
The renowned scientist stressed that the challenges confronting the African academia was their over-reliance on European and American postulations and strategies in solving problems peculiar to the region, adding that Africans should eschew Europeanism and imbibe Afrocentrism in their research approaches for the continent to move out of woods.
Dr. Yongabi stated that Anti-ritroviral Drugs used to cushion the boost the immune deficiency of HIV/AIDS patients did not recognize the nature of Africans, adding that there was urgent need to take a holistic approach to finding alternative measures to address the problem. To this, he began experiments on mushrooms having exploited essential amino acids and bio-active proteins to produce drugs that boost the immune systems of HIV/AIDS patients.
He further posited that Bio-resources are so huge and many and challenged the participants to look inward and venture into profitable research that would change history and provide succor to problems ravaging Africa by exploiting the various bio-materials found in Africa.