NEWS DETAIL: RMRDC TO PARTNER WITH ABU ON PRODUCTION OF PPE'S
Following are the details of the news:
As economies of the world race at break-neck speed to pull together appropriate and effective therapeutic responses to the growing COVID19 pandemic, the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, is set to partner with the Ahamadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, to develop Personal and Protective equipment (PPEs) for Doctors and other health care workers in the frontline in the fight against the dreaded COVID19 pandemic.
This was disclosed by the Director General RMRDC, Prof. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, when the vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Kabir Bala led a team on a working visit to the Council’s headquarters on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Speaking during the working visit, The DG RMRDC, Professor Hussaini Doko Ibrahim said, the Honorable Minister had charged the council to produce WHO standard face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prof. Ibrahim noted that, the Council was also engaged in action programs in the area of pharmaceuticals that will lead to the discovery of the COVID-19 Vaccine or other useful medications and chemicals that can be used to tackle underlying illnesses that make people more susceptible to COVID-19.
He however appreciated the Vice Chancellor and his team for their welcoming initiative to collaborate and put it in a global competitive manner. “Having the science, technology and innovation centers are good to incubate these innovation and patent them on how to turn them into economic ventures,” he added.
He stressed that the key role of the Council was to employ reverse engineering in determining the composition of the products and support manufacturers with a source of raw materials to reproduce them.
“we now have to look inwards, look at the ones that are imported, what they are made of and then we now begin to source the raw materials for their production,” he said.
The DG also noted that they have quite a lot of projects they have been collaborating with Ahmadu Bello University over the years, including the development of modular refinery that we know is very key in this Country because we need to domesticate the technology.
“we pray it succeed, but whatever it may be, we believe that the initiative is a good one. It may not be expected to produce oil or refine oil but at least it can be a good teaching tool for the students”.
The DG noted that, “the most vulnerable group are people that have high blood pressure, people that are diabetic or have other underlying illness, we have been working on all of these areas.”
Earlier, while intimating the Director General on his proposed visit to partner with the Council, the Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Prof. Kabir Bala said the partnerships would lead to the development of quality products from abundant raw materials in the Country.
Prof. Bala acknowledged that, the Council gave the grant to support the research and the production of the PPEs kits. He said they have had many collaborations with the Council like Moringa project and other ones.
Prof. Bala said, in recent times, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is trying to reawaken our institutions to provide homegrown solutions to these problems. “solutions from other Countries are not simply available, for instance when the pandemic started, face masks were not easily available in the international market, therefore, we had to look inwards”.
He further stated that COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for us to exploit our potentials which are enormous in this Country as we have seen now in this Council. He further stressed that the University had already produced face masks, ventilators and a four in one machine sanitizer among others as a result of collaboration between RMRDC and the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
“We ran to RMRDC and the Council promised to assist us, so far it has given the research team N2 million and promised 300,000 dollars-worth of equipment. The Polymer department is involved in the production of PPE against COVID-19. The department is working in collaboration with the Council and the Council has given it a grant”.
He stated that examining the Council’s resource center brought in more ideas to the table for many windows of collaboration with the Council.
“The products have been produced, they have passed SON tests and some of them are in NAFDAC, we will take it further from there”.