Scientist Urges Interdisciplinary Research in COVID-19 Fight

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Prof. Alex Ikeme of the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has called for interdisciplinary research in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ikeme made the call at a two-day International Conference of Faculty of Biosciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, on Wednesday with the theme: “Post COVID-19 Resilience: Role of Biosciences”.

He said that the lack of interdisciplinary studies also contributed to the slow response in stemming the tide of COVID-19 in the country.

According to him, Bioscientists need to up their games in providing solutions to the possible prevention and control of disease outbreaks, COVID-19 inclusive.

“The COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world with shock and overwhelmed the health system of most nations, causing global social disruption by limiting global social relations.

“Bioscientists and medical professionals discovered that the virus had the propensity to kill more than 50 million people worldwide, which led to research for a vaccine and how to build resilience against the spread.

“But, there had been a resurgence of coronavirus in some countries and the Federal Government has intensified surveillance and sensitisation on vaccination and adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

“The fight against COVID-19 should be a collective responsibility.

“There is a need to bring together Bioscientists of related disciplines to find appropriate solutions for controlling and managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Interdisciplinary cooperation could help to handle the consequences of the pandemic and to avoid the recurrence of future pandemics,” he said.

Also, Prof. Charles Esimone, the Vice-Chancellor, NAU, decried the recent upsurge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Esimone, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Frederick Odibo, urged Bioscientists to search for solutions to mitigate COVID-19.

“Nigeria and indeed sub-Saharan Africa are being plagued by diseases such as Ebola and Lassa Fever, which are virulent.

“Our scientists should be well equipped to find lasting solutions to these outbreaks

“Bioscientists here at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, are well-equipped and endowed to provide solutions to the challenges of the time,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Prof. Stanley Udedi, the Dean, Faculty of Biosciences, NAU, said that the conference was aimed at discussing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on survival strategies.

“The conference will strategise and repackage the role of teaching, research, and community service by showcasing what the Faculty can offer in the face of the global challenge,” Udedi said. 

(NAN) 

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