Indications have emerged that lack of adequate facilities as well as resources may be hindering the invention of vaccines against the pandemic Ebola virus.
Since the outbreak of the deadly disease, countries across the globe have tried to devise vaccines as well as cure for the virus which is said to be more deadlier than the HIV/AIDS.
According to the Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Professor Lucy Ogbadu, Nigeria does not have the facilities as well as structures to put up a vaccine against the virus.
In an interview with Global Village Extra GVE, she said that a standard facility requires a level 4 bio-safety adding that the agency was still struggle to put up level 2.
She maintained that without such facilities, the country cannot level up with scientists in other countries in providing solutions to the most dreaded virus.
“During outbreak of the Ebola pandemic, we developed rapid diagnostic kit because you would recall that those who came in contact with the virus and were detected early were successfully managed back to life. So we developed the kit with our collaborators in Korea. Once that is done, management becomes easy.
“We can also assist in the area of development of vaccines which is ongoing in some areas of the world, we are collaborating with some scientists in other parts of the world to ensure that it materializes because administration of vaccines are preventive and if that is done, then the issue of diagnosis will not even come up.
“The reason why we are not playing a very active role is that Ebola virus is a very deadly virus and it requires you to put up structures, facilities that can make sure you contain them very well to make sure it does not escape into the environment. These facilities we do not have.
“It requires level 4 bio-safety. We are just struggling to put up level 2 now in this place. We are in the process, hopefully by the end of next month we must have completed our level 2 bio-safety facility but Ebola requires level 4 bio-safety facility.
“It is like people going to the moon to work because of the garment and the mask they wear to make sure that when they come out they are thoroughly disinfected. So, without these facilities we cannot play active role so what we are doing is to support our collaborators outside, you know in the plan of work, and they also know that Ebola outbreak is something that is common to this continent. So they equally desire that we too have these kind of facilities. We are approaching donor agencies in putting up such facilities that we can work in.
“We have these partners we are discussing with in terms of the plan of work, the line of research to go into, whether we should send scientist and work with them, all these discussions are on-going and what they are currently doing in that regard we are part of the discussion.”