By; FAITH WILSON OKON, Kaduna
Bingham University, Karu and the Kaduna State University (KASU) have collaborated to produce an oil repellent for the prevention and control of malaria, using some plant bioactive constituents.
The Vice-Chancellor, Bingham University, Prof. Williams Qurix, said the collaboration between the two universities would provide solutions to the prevention of malaria in the country.
The research work on malaria prevention and control was funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund through the National Research Fund.
Prof. Williams Qurix urged universities to focus more on research in addition to teaching to solve most of the challenges facing the country.
At a one-day workshop and physical exhibition of the product, the Vice-Chancellor said the world over, research, development and innovation were driving economic development and economic stability, adding that any institution outside this would be sure not to survive.
He said: “We in Bingham have since recognised this and we have put down some infrastructure for research. We have established an entrepreneurship unit that is connected to research in the institution to ensure our research sees the light of the day.
“We have developed a research policy for the university because we realised that to interface with the world, you need a research policy and this has made us to interface with other universities in the country.”
The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Kaduna State University, Prof. Yohanna Tella said the research by the two universities had opened up more funding for KASU.
Tella, who was represented by the Director, Research and Development, KASU, Prof. Ben Chindo, called for the extension of the collaboration in other research works.
An Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Sciences, Bingham University, Bamidele Okoli, said the research team worked in six different states in Northcentral to produce the oil repellent for the control and prevention of malaria.
In his paper entitled “Malaria Prevention: Using the Gift of Nature in the Biocontrol of Anopheles Mosquitoes”, Okoli said the research was done due to the challenges of prevention of malaria despite several measures to tackle it.
He noted that malaria occupied a unique place in the annals of history as it kick-started the modern environmental movement and contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.
Okoli said Africa contributed about 95 per cent of all malaria cases in the world and 96 per cent of all malaria death with 80 per cent found among children below five years.
He said: “Out of the total 95 per cent malaria incidences recorded globally, Nigeria contributed 26.8 per cent of the cases and 31.9 per cent of the total mortality rate recorded in Africa.
“This indicates that malaria is not actually a global phenomenon but more of an African and a Nigerian phenomenon.”