ByÂ Chioma Obinna
Newly appointed Director General of the Nigeria Institute ofÂ Medical Research (NIMR) has said the Institute would be repositioned to respond appropriately to national health priorities that will contribute to the health – related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Vision 20-2020 of the Federal government.
Making the pledge in his acceptance speech shortly after being handed over by the out-going Acting Director General of the institute, Dr. Philip Agomo, the substantive Director General, Prof Innocent Ujah stressed that research outcomes from the NIMR should inform policy, practices and products on national health and development.
â€œNigeria has manyÂ serious research priorities, which include poliomyelitis, cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) issues of maternal mortality in maternal health, cancer research and other non communicable but debilitating diseases such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus, nutritional problems of childhood such as wasting and stunting.â€
Ujah further stated that the institute would continue to give strategic direction to HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria where it has very strong presence.
Announcing a new strategic plan, he explained that the document would provide clear direction in the response to the nationâ€™s health research priorities. He alsoÂ promised to strengthen the ICT department
Presenting a paper entitled, â€œBuilding a New NIMR with Great Relevance to the Health Service,â€ Former Board Chairman of the institute, Dr. Ndi Onuekwusi charged the institute to aim at using science in pursuit of knowledge to improve human health.â€œNIMR should through innovative research produce fundamental discoveries and their applications in order to advance the nationâ€™s capacity to protect and improve health, develop, maintain and renew the human and physical resources that are vital to ensure the capability to prevent disease, improve health and enhance quality of life, expand the knowledge base in biomedical, behavioural and associated sciences in order to enhance Nigeriaâ€™s economic well being.â€