The Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin (Unilorin), Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, has said the institution’s Ebola Research Committee is working toward developing a vaccine for the Ebola virus.
Ambali, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, said the process of developing a vaccine was a long one.
“What is happening is that the committee is just monitoring events; in terms of the vaccine, it will take a while because there are processes that you have to follow before you develop a vaccine.
“For example, you have to isolate the virus; grow the virus; attenuate the virus; bring it out for testing; and then before the final usage.
“So those are the processes that any vaccine candidate will have to pass through before you can now use on victim.
“But right now what they are doing is monitoring events across the borders; and then we have put in place the facilities to be able to advise our staff as well as students that want to visit those places (High risk Ebola countries).
The vice-chancellor said the committee was monitoring developments in neighbouring countries, especially in Liberia where there was a resurgence of Ebola.
He said people, staff and students, who travelled, would be advised on proper precautionary measures, while those returning from high risk areas would be properly screened before entry.
Ambali stressed the need for Nigerian universities to step up the publications of their research findings in order to improve the global rating of Nigerian universities.
He said the recent ranking of African universities in which only one Nigerian university made the top ten was worrisome.
“Every academic should be worried about this ranking and we are doing our best to make sure that we enter that vicinity of the ranking arena.
“We need to increase our visibility; we need to improve on our interaction through the internet and then update our research publications.
“We also need to make sure that we are seen across globe as much as possible so that the world will know what is happening in our institutions,” Ambali said.
According to him, Nigerian universities are as good as their foreign counterparts but need to constantly upload their activities online in order to achieve global presence.