The Minister of Health, Dr. Osage Ehanire, has disclosed that non-release of funds is affecting the N200 million drugs related research framework developed by the ministry and its affiliate organs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister stated this while making a presentation before the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on COVID-19 late Friday.
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He appeared before the Committee alongside the heads of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA), Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), and NAFDAC.
The Adhoc Committee conducted a One day investigative hearing on the “Need to investigate the Status of Medical Research in the Fight Against COVID-19 and Other Diseases in Nigeria”.
Ehanire said that the National Health Research Committee developed the N200 million COVID-19 research work plan for the year 2020.
The Minister disclosed that the research division of the Ministry was actively involved in Nigeria COVID-19 Research Consortium (NCRC), a conglomerate of research entities from the government, NCDC, academic and private sector.
He said several research protocols were being reviewed by the NCRC for possible sponsorship.
In a remark, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Haruna Mshelia (APC, Borno) called for multi-sectoral stakeholder engagement by the health ministry in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.