Prof.-emeritus Umaru Shehu Maiduguri, Chairman, Board of Directors, IHVN
Abuja, June 6, 2023 (NAN) The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) celebrated a momentous occasion on Tuesday as it officially commissioned its newly constructed IHVN Campus.
At the ceremony in Abuja, Mr Rolf Olson, Acting United States Deputy Chief of Mission, said the commissioning of the campus provided an opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments and also set goals for what the U.S. Government would work towards within these walls in the future.
Olson said that the U.S. Governments current sub-Saharan Africa strategy reiterated its commitment to health security in the region.
He said that through its agencies like US Centre for Disease Control, it was able to work towards the vision of a world where people lived healthier, safer, and longer lives.
The US CDCs mission is to protect and improve health globally through science, policy, partnership, and evidence-based public health action.
These actions, driven by science and data, are a core component of the U.S. Governments global health diplomacy efforts in Nigeria. he said.
He said that the U.S., through its collective investments, research and programming, aimed to first impact on the health of Nigerians in a positive way and strengthen health security in the country and in the region,
He said that the third was to establish the country as a leader in public health science and practice.
Through partnerships with the Government of Nigeria, civil society partners, and communities, we work towards that first goal- to save lives, improve health outcomes and foster healthy populations, he added.
The Chief Executive Officer, IHVN, Dr Patrick Dakum, expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to the realisation of the ambitious project.
Dakum highlighted the growth of IHVN since its establishment in 2004, emphasising its leadership role in providing quality health services, capacity building and research in the country.
The IHVN Campus, located in the heart of the country, would now serve as the headquarters of the institute.
The first phase of the project, which was officially completed and opened during the ceremony, includes a seven-story edifice comprising the International Research Centre of Excellence (IRCE), administrative offices, and lettable spaces.
Tower A of the building houses state-of-the-art laboratories, including a bio-repository with liquid nitrogen facilities, a genomics resource centre, and various clinical and diagnostic laboratories.
It also features a Clinical Trials Unit, which will facilitate the conduct of crucial clinical trials to study the effectiveness and adverse effects of vaccines and drugs on the Nigerian population, it said.
He said that Tower A also accommodated offices for researchers and a restaurant for staff and visitors.
He said that Tower B, on the other hand, offered office spaces, a boardroom, banking facilities, a gym and a creche.
With the completion of Phase 1, IHVN now sets its sights on the subsequent phases.
Phase two involves the construction of a multi-level car park capable of accommodating 200 vehicles, currently underway adjacent to the newly commissioned building, he said.
Meanwhile, Prof.-emeritus Umaru Shehu Maiduguri, Chairman, Board of Directors, IHVN, said the commissioning of the campus gave hope that the country could curb todays emerging diseases of publich health concern.
I feel fulfilled because I have been a witness and participant in Nigerias efforts at stopping Epidemics like Smallpox, Polio, Ebola, HIV, and COVID-19; so this is a major contribution to Nigerias healthcare efforts.
Other things being equal, I predict that with facilities such as the ones you find on this campus, Nigeria will soon become the destination for medical tourism, clinical diagnostics, treatment, and care for people with infectious and non-infectious diseases.
I see more young scientists inspired and emboldened by the facilities on this campus to develop and execute research projects under the mentorship of more experienced investigators at the institutes International Research Centre of Excellence.
As chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute, he said he was a witness to the active participation of the indefatigable and resourceful colleagues on the board, banks, donor agencies, corporate organizations and management of IHVN to the development of the campus project.
Seven years ago, this untiring Board of Directors teamed up with Access Bank and Dangote Foundation to organise a fundraising dinner at Eko Hotel, Lagos to raise N5 billion.
About 700 million Naira was raised from this drive and other savings and contributions from partners.
At that time, it was a dream but today it is a reality, he said.
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman
Source: NAN News