By Emmanuel Afonne
A philanthropist, Prince Ned Nwoko, says he will fund researchers in five universities in the country in a bid to develop vaccine for eradicating malaria in Africa.
Nwoko, who said this in Abuja in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the funding would come through his foundation.
He said the search for malaria vaccine would complement the proposed fumigation of African countries for a mosquito free continent.
“There are different things we are working on and one of them is the research into finding a vaccine for malaria.
“This is where the strength of what my foundation is doing lies. We have a team of doctors and we have the advisers put together already.
“We are going to fund scientists, researchers in five universities with a specific instruction – discover vaccine for malaria; that is the long term solution. When there is vaccine that is working, that is the end of malaria.
“There are vaccines for other ailment like chicken pox, small pox, polio, why not malaria. So, we need to get vaccine research going and we are doing that now,” Nwoko said.
According to Nwoko, fumigation of Africa which is the first step of his malaria free continent will be done at different times in all the countries of Africa.
He explained that the clean up of the environment and homes by the residents and the government at various levels would help achieve good result.
“This is not a project that will happen within one year.
“We are going to fumigate country by country, once a country keys into it, we take it from there and do what has to be done.
“Fumigation is not just aerial work but homes. The unique thing about what we are doing is that we want the fumigation to be done simultaneously.
“There is no need doing fumigation in Abuja and you don’t do it in Nasarawa, or you don’t do in Kaduna state because mosquitoes will just migrate and multiply and all the efforts are wasted.
“So, we are looking at permanently cleaning up the environment and homes; it is for everybody and don’t forget that sanitation is very important,” Nwoko added.
NAN reports that the Ned Nwoko malaria project was launched in Abuja in December 2019. (NAN)