The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has inaugurated the Governing Board for the NDDC Professorial Chair on Malaria Elimination and Phytomedicine Research at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).
NDDC’s Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, while inaugurating the N50 million endowment fund at the Council Chambers of the university, however, stated that the main objective of the intervention was to reduce the prevalence of malaria through strategic control, curtailing breeding, transmission, as well as the cost of treatment.
The NDDC boss, who was represented by the Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, an engineer, described the endowment of a professorial chair on Malaria Elimination and Phytomedicine Research as apt, considering the prevalence of the disease in tropical Africa and particularly the Niger Delta region.
He explained further that the N50 million endowment would be redeemed in two installments of N25 million per year for an initial period of two years, recalling that the Commission had recently released the first tranche of N25 million for the Malaria Chair Research Programme.
He said that the spread or breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the high cost of treatment of the disease and the increasing incidence of resistance and reactions to existing drugs provided the basis for the research programme.
Ekere said: “As malaria incidence increases, so also is morbidity and mortality rates, particularly in the high risk and vulnerable population such as in children, pregnant women and non-immune individuals.
And, in the trail of malaria morbidity are economic losses, social and economic consequences.”
Ekere recalled that NDDC responded to a request from UNIPORT to sponsor malaria research during the maiden International Malaria Conference held at the university in conjunction with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom on May 16, 2016.
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