The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it is collaborating with Medical Science University (UniMed), Ondo State, to boost research.
This is according to a statement by NAFDAC resident media consultant, Mr Olusayo Akintola, and issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement disclosed that the collaboration between the two institutions would formally commit them to working closely in the areas of training, capacity building, applied research and community based projects.
According to the statement, NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this position known at the official signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding between the between the two organisation in Lagos on Tuesday.
The statement quoted Adeyeye as saying that the two institutions would be collaborating in the areas of scientific research, such as conducting and promoting mycotoxin research.
She added that the two institutions would be collaborating in technology transfer in the area of quality control and assurance, risk assessment and management in food systems.
She added that the partnership would also seek for grants to fund collaborative Research and Development (R&D) on mycotoxin research, food safety and other related inter-disciplinary research.
The NAFDAC boss further explained that ‘’It’s a significant effort that we are trying to strengthen our cooperation and collaboration especially at this time where health and safe food have become important to the citizens of this nation.
Adeyeye expressed worry that people die prematurely as a result of eating moulds in food, adding that they eat food with phallotoxin or mallotoxin or whatever toxin.
She noted that many people were hypersensitive, stressing that Nigerians are so fast in attributing such deaths to witches in the village.
According to the NAFDAC D-G, such deaths are sometimes from the food we eat, substandard and falsified medicines.
She advised people to guide against such.
She explained that she lost her brother on Sept. 1, 2021 to the intake of such unwholesome medicines, adding that he had complained that he took some antimalarial medicines about a year before his death which incapacitated him.
Adeyeye lamented that people were fond of buying medicines from patent dealers and corner drug stores or hawkers without prescription.
“How many people have gone that way? That is why I take what we are doing seriously, to safeguard the health of our people. It is about food safety.
“It is about medicines that do what; quality, safety, and efficacy. A country that puts emphasis on science is a country that has future,” she stressed.
Adeyeye explained that NAFDAC places great premium on deepening use of science in the regulatory processes and self-development of its officers.
She said that the agency was also a firm believer in collaborative applied research efforts with tertiary institutions.
The D-G disclosed that such research and studies are accentuated on projects and programmes leading to improvement in methodologies, development of robust regulatory policies.
According to her, such research also help consumer and health products development, data generation and deployment.
Speaking in the same vein, the Vice-Chancellor of UniMed, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, explained the significance of collaborative partnerships in the university system.
He said that the institution needs partnerships with other organizations, Federal agencies, and private agencies’’.
He disclosed that UniMed faculty of pharmacy is supported by Olu Akinkugbe Pharms Education Trust established by the 93-year-old Prof Akin Akinkugbe.
According to Fatusi, Akinkugbe is the nation’s oldest living pharmacist and national president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
He said that the institution was ready to channel a new pathway and to close the gaps that exist today in Nigeria health and medical system, adding that UniMed is one of the best places to invest in.
According to him, the University has a record of never being disrupted in its academic activities as neither COVID-19 Pandemic nor the national ASUU strike has ever affected it.
‘’We run an undisrupted academic calendar. Eight years going, no disruption.”
Fatusi, however, urged NAFDAC personnel to come and study at the medical university, adding that he would also be very glad to have experts in the agency to teach with the institution from the comfort of their offices using the various technology.
‘’There’s a lot of knowledge inbuilt in an organization like NAFDAC. We must find out opportunity to raise new generation of people who are not based on theory but understand the intricacies of the country, and to strengthen academic programme.
’’We have research, pharmacy, mycotoxin and food safety, microbiology and several units that we can work with.
“We have Centre for herbal medicine, and drug discovery’’.