Plateau Governor Simon Bako Lalong has inaugurated a Special Committee for Research on Coronavirus and other Infectious Diseases in Plateau State with Noel N Wannang, a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Jos as Lead Researcher.
Governor Lalong in a statement after the inauguration at Government House, Rayfield, said although the state has had to deal with many infectious diseases in the past, it has not been confronted with anything like of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
‘Indeed, our generation is facing perhaps one of its most difficult times. Clearly, COVID-19 has reminded us of the need to be proactive in not only upgrading our medical facilities and improving manpower but also working ahead to develop a preventive and curative capacity for infectious diseases,’ the governor remarked.
He charged the members of the special committee, who comprise of researchers from various tertiary institutions in the state, to work hard in utilising the human and material resources available in Plateau capable of providing solutions for the treatment of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 that the state and country at large is dealing with.
‘It is a known fact that Plateau State is endowed with herbal and medicinal products that could be harnessed towards building our capacity to withstand the threat of diseases such as the coronavirus if and when they spring up. Therefore, we must not only look inwards to find a solution to the current COVID-19 challenge but also use today’s experience to prepare for the future in order to avoid panic and desperation.’
Governor Lalong charged the committee to be diligent in carrying out its special assignment, and to have at the back of your minds that, in the long run, all efforts should lead towards establishing a modern infectious diseases hospital in Plateau.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference include: to Search for conventional and/or alternative drugs for the treatment and cure of the coronavirus; design treatment protocols for the treatment of the virus; conduct clinical trials on the candidate drug (s).
Others are to design a control mechanism for the spread of the virus and any other design that will curtail the pandemic and subsequent diseases.
Governor Lalong said the research committee has one week to present a proposal to the state government and that, within three weeks, it will be expecting a draft of research prospects, while fortnightly a progress report should be submitted.