The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as part of its policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic, introduces the Healthcare Care Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS).
The information is contained in the apex bank’s official website, www.cbn.gov.ng.
The bank stated that the intervention was to help strengthen public healthcare systems with innovative financing of research and development in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
It said, “specifically HSRDIS is designed to trigger intense national Research and Development activities to develop a Nigerian vaccine, drugs and herbal medicines/medical devices against the spread of COVID-19 and any other communicable or non-communicable diseases.
“This will be done through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes.
“The grants will support research and development of drugs, herbal medicines/medical devices and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases,’’ it said.
It added that the scheme was designed to boost domestication of critical drugs and vaccines to ensure their sustainable domestic supply and reduce their bulk manufacturing cost in Nigeria.
According to CBN, the overall objective is to reduce Nigeria’s dependence on other countries for those critical drugs and vaccines.
It stated that the scheme would be funded from the development component of CBN’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF).
The scheme provided for a maximum of N50 million grant earmarked for research activities and a maximum of N500 million grant for development and manufacturing.
“Disbursement under the scheme shall be made to beneficiaries in tranches subject to approved milestones achieved.
“A Body of Experts (BoE) shall be responsible for the review and evaluation of submitted research proposals,” it added.
NAN reports that the broad objectives of scheme include: providing grants for R&D in new or revalidation of drug molecule, phytomedicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
Others are boosting domestic manufacturing of validated drugs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients or APIs), herbal medicines and vaccines for the control, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
Others are reduce the nation’s dependence on other countries for these drugs and vaccines; improving the capacity of the biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers, and research institutes in the development of approved Nigerian drugs, herbal medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases; among others. (NAN)
Road accidents claim 217 lives in Ogun in 8 months
The Ogun Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said 217 people died in 547 road traffic crashes from January to August in Ogun.
Mr Ahmed Umar, the state Sector Commander, said this during the flag off of the last quarter of the year “Ember months’’ campaign in the state on Tuesday in Abeokuta.
Umar explained that the command rescued over 1,338 persons in different motor traffic accidents during the period under review.
According to the sector commander, some of the busiest roads in the country were within the territory of the state.
He said that the high traffic on Lagos -Sagamu, Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Ajebandele and other expressways in the state made the state prone to high record of crashes and injuries.
Umar added that the enforcement of traffic regulations and public enlightenment against excessive speed, overloading, route violation, use of worn out tyres and other offences were aimed at preventing crashes.
“Economic and social activities increase during Ember months, these activities make the roads busier and more prone to crashes and gridlock.
“FRSC’s Ember months operation is therefore aimed at minimising crashes and gridlocks along major corridors in the country,” he said.
The sector commander said that the command would continue to engage leadership of various transport unions to ensure compliance with traffic regulations and COVID -19 protocols.
The FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer in-charge of Lagos and Ogun, Mr Imoh Etuk, advised drivers to always obey traffic rules and regulations in order to avoid crashes.
Etuk appealed to drivers to avoid the consumption of alcohol and hard drugs before embarking on any journey.
In his goodwill message, Gov. Dapo Abiodun, said that the state government would do all it could to improve road transportation in the state.
Abiodun, represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Security, Mr Olusola Zubair, commended FRSC for it’s efforts in managing traffic on the state highways. (NAN)