By Dayo Johnson
GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has said that over N800 million was raised by the state’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
Akeredolu stated this at the official commissioning of the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED, in Ondo.
The governor had earlier commissioned the university’s School of Public Health in Bolorunduro area of the state.
While commending the donors during the Covid-19 pandemic, the governor said: “The funds from development partners channelled through the Federal Government assisted us in appropriately equipping this laboratory.
“I hereby express my gratitude and that of our government to all who have contributed towards making the dream of establishing this Molecular Biology Laboratory a reality.
“In particular, I want to thank the members of the Ondo State Covid-19 Response Fund who successfully raised the funds for the construction of this laboratory.
“I sincerely thank all corporate organisations, Non-Governmental groups and individuals who contributed generously to the Ondo State Covid-19 Response Fund.
“The new laboratory is unique within the state system in the sense that it will not only provide diagnostic services but will also contribute to expanding the frontiers of knowledge.
“We hope that just like the African Centre for Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases of the Redeemers University, Ede, UNIMED’s Centre will provide high quality services, serve as the reference centre for the diagnosis of highly infectious viral diseases for the state and beyond, and generate high-quality scientific publications.
“It is gratifying to know that UNIMED has already established a partnership with the Centre at the Redeemers University.
“We are on a mission to better the lives of our people and move the state to a higher plane,” he said.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi said the institution has identified five strategic pillars for advancing the academic mission of the university and for its strategic positioning within the national and regional setting in the current clime.
Fatusi said they include Public Health, Herbal Medicine and Drug Production, Medical Rehabilitation, Health Professions Education and Molecular Biosciences.
The Molecular Biology Laboratory, according to him, “is a key facility in our vision to utilise molecular biosciences to drive health research and training as well as boost quality health care delivery.
“Our newly established Centre for Molecular Biosciences and Medical Genomics aims to be a centre of excellence that inspires the next generation of scientists and physicians through collaborative research and training in molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, genetics, molecular medicine, genomic technologies, nanobiotechnology, statistics and epidemiology, to increase understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of human diseases,” he said.
The VC also said: “Among others, this new Molecular Biology laboratory will facilitate the diagnosis of Covid-19, Lassa fever, and several other deadly infections.”
Governor Akeredolu while commissioning the institution’s School of Public Health said that the research output of the school will also help us in addressing some of the major health problems confronting our population, as well as develop models for effective health service delivery at facility and community levels.
He said: “The school will, no doubt, also further UNIMED’s innovative engagement in community-based health services and promote public health services in its host community and beyond.”