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Nigerian health experts seek lasting cure for malaria, HIV

By Chioma Obinna
Health experts have lamented inability of medical researchers to find a lasting cure in the form of a reliable vaccine for malaria and HIV even though potential benefits of efficacious malaria or HIV vaccines are not in doubt.

Speaking last week at the 3rd Symposium of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Institutional- Review Board (NIMR-IRB) and AMANET on “The Ethics of Malaria and HIV Vaccine, a professor of Paediatrics, Prof. Fidelis Njokanma said development of efficacious vaccines that would protect against infection or severe disease, would go a long way towards improving health in the community in general and of children in particular.

In his paper entitled; “The Ethics of Malaria and HIV Vaccine Trials,” Njokama who is Consultant Paediatrician at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM)/ Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said the high morbidity and mortality burden of malaria and HIV& AIDS, particularly in paediatric populations justified the seriousness in the efforts to find preventive and curative solutions, including vaccines.

He stressed the need for health professionals to ensure that trials of candidate vaccines obey the rules of doing no harm and observe prescribed ethical standards as well as maintain the principles of equity and justice, and advised researchers to ensure that rights of participants are adequately protected.

He said there are enough safeguards to ensure protection of human subjects as researchers seek to develop and prefect candidate vaccines, adding that compliance with the rules will protect not only the participants but the researchers as well.

In his paper, titled; “Ethics in Research,”  Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Akin Osibogun admonished researchers to meet all the requirements for ethical research as well as concentrate in their area of practice.

Represented by Dr Nike Ekekezie of the Department of Community Health, LUTH, he stressed the need to carefully monitor patients development for possible adoption of effective measures in case  crises as well as seek advise of senior colleagues in larger medical health institutions.


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