Lagos- Dr Jide Idris, the former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, has called for more investments in medical research in order to improve the nation’s poor health indices.
Idris told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that such investment could also facilitate more development in the health sector.
He said that medical research was a tool through which diseases could be tackled.
Idris, however, said that inadequate funding of medical research had adversely affected the quality of data used for planning and development in the sector.
The former commissioner said that Nigeria had the capacity to conduct research, adding “there is no interest and we lack funding, which is a major barrier to successful research because it is a very expensive venture’’.
“There is a need for us to invest seriously on our public health institutions, and one of that is research. No country can make any progress, especially in the health sector, without research.
“That is the only base where new things are discovered, new things are modified, findings are made and that will help us in making policies.
“And that is to recollect again that Lagos State set up a research fund, it is a way to stimulate this.
“In most countries abroad, it is not the government that funds research, it is the private sector.
“The government can only create the avenue for it and I believe too the Federal Government should be working on this.
“We must invest in research works, we have a lot of scientists in this country whose works are not even known and it is only the government that can actually publicise these.
“If you recollect, during Ebola period, the laboratory we used is owned by a Nigerian. If you also recollect in the past, we have to send parts of the samples abroad for confirmation.
“During the Ebola period, we refused to, because we knew the capability of the scientist we had and that is what helped us in increasing the speed at which diagnosis was made.
“So, we have the potential, we have the people; all they need is our encouragement and funding.’’