Virology Institute strengthens 260 laboratories in health facilities nationwide, says CEO

Institute advocates improved data collection system in Nigeria

By Jessica Onyegbula
Abuja –  Dr Patrick Dakum, the Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN), on Wednesday called for an improved data collection system in Nigeria.
Making the call at the 3rd Annual Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA) Conference holding in Abuja, Dakum noted that the key objectives of the conference was to provide a forum for dissemination of research data.
He said that data would make research and implementation easier and more effective.
“Correct data at the correct time will give you correct result and correct impact of what you are doing.
“IHVN will work with hospitals to change perspective on data especially how they use their data for programming at their own site level.
“We will also harmonise our electronic platforms, so that we can have a uniform platform that fits data into the federal system.
“There is a national data platform called the National Data Health Information System and stakeholders have agreed to key into it.
“They have also agreed to upload data into it and to ensure that whatever data is available is put in the National repository, so that it can be used for planning, budgeting and for taking care of patients,” he added.
Dakum also urged the government to take full responsibility and ownership of the different health programmes in Nigeria.
The IHVN boss also cautioned that Nigeria could not continue to depend on foreign grants as 75 per cent of drugs consumed by people living with HIV and AIDS and TB in the country were paid for by funders.
According to him, in the issue of funding and sustainability, Nigeria is below 28 per cent in terms of government responsibility in taking care of HIV and TB.
“This is not right, we must push and advocate for better implementation and ownership of the different health programmes in Nigeria, not only HIV and TB but also the communicable diseases,” he said.
NISA Conference Coordinator, Prof. Echezona Ezeanolue, highlighted the main objectives of the conference to include providing a forum for dissemination for researchers, implementers and policy makers, to review challenges and identify new strategies in implementation science.
Ezeanolue said that other objectives of the conference were enhancing collaboration and creating opportunity for young investigators to identify mentors and and collaborators as part of their objectives and the provision of a forum for dissemination of research data generated from Nigeria to inform local policy changes.
The Chief Executive Officer, AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria, Prosper Okonkwo, said that there was need to increase awareness about research in the country.
According to Okonkwo, the Nigerian government has the capability to fund and encourage research to improve scientific work. (NAN)

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