New ‘rugged’ malaria vector discovered in northern Nigeria
The Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) on Monday said it had discovered a new malaria vector called anopheles stephensi in northern Nigeria.
Director General of the agency, Professor Babatunde Salako, who spoke with reporters in Lagos during a birthday ceremony organised by his members of staff, said that it was the most recent research discovery.
He said that it was a rugged vector, very difficult to eradicate and had not been found anywhere near West Africa.
He said that this was a discovery by NIMR researchers and that it had implications for malaria control in Nigeria.
Mr Salako said that NIMR was currently looking at vaccines.
“We have done a lot of studies on vaccines and we are looking at vaccine development.
“We are working with five groups in a consortium to develop world local vaccines in Nigeria which are different from production,” he said.
Mr Salako said that the idea was to ensure that Nigerian researchers were able to take it from the beginning to the end in the development of vaccines.
He said that “if tomorrow, we had a new epidemic or disease, known or unknown, it would be possible for Nigeria to develop its own vaccine”.
He said that NIMR was also looking at the effectiveness, side effects and responsiveness of the human body to COVID-19 vaccines.
He said that the institute was looking at three COVID vaccines and 2,000 people in Nigeria would be tested to know whether the vaccines actually evoked a response among Nigerians.
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