By TERYIMA ANDREW-
The university of Jos in collaboration with African Centre of Excellent Phytomedicine Research and Development (ACEPRD) has uncover an anti snakebite vaccine “COVIP-Plus” the first of it kind, worldwide, officials stated.
Vice Chancellor university of Jos, Prof Sebastian Maimako, made the disclosure in a press conference at the new Senate Chambers, the permanent site of the institution on Tuesday.
The Vice Chancellor spoke through the Director, African Centre of Excellent Phytomedicine Research and Development, Prof John Aguyi, a renounced Pharmacist.
According to Prof Sebastian Maimako, the newly uncovered anti snakebite vaccine is capable of preventing and treating any snake venom.
He said the research was made possible following sponsorship by the World Bank Grant, under the STEP-B project to research into Artemisia plant for the treatment and cure of malaria.
Prof Aguyi stressed that “COVIP-Plus” is the first, to have discovered worldwide by the university of Jos and ACEPRD, adjudged to be able to neutralises any snake venom.
The the anti snakebit according to the reaercher, has high potency, and capable of preventing snakebite victims from negative effect for one year.
“They have used updated genetic enginering technologies to efficiently clone and produce highly immunogenic vaccine to address snakebite medical needs for the rural farmers at an affordable cost of between 1000 and 5000 naira.”
He rieterated that the said vaccine has under gone clinical and other laboratory test and proven to have high potency, an that the vaccine can also heal bee stings and spiders bits.
Prof Aguyi explained further that the medicine can heal both human and animals who are biten by snakes.
“An essential approach to tackling snakebite is to prevent or neutralize snake venom on it’s arrival at the human and animal tissue.”
It was learnt that the African Centre of Excellent Phytomedicine Research and Development, has within 24 years of it establishment trained 52 African postgraduate students from Laberia, DR Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Togo and Cameroon, 36 others are on awaiting list of From Kenya, Togo, and Benin Republic.
The Vice Chancellor appealed to the federal government, through the federal Ministry of health to assist the university of Jos, to enable the institution produce the vaccine for public consumption in hospital on a cheaper rate.
“I am calling on the federal government through its relevant agencies to work to see this product get out of the people. It will be cheap compared to what is being sold to Nigerians right now.” He explained.
The university of Jos also sought for financial assistance, amounting to 400 million Naira from cooperate organizations base in Nigeria to enable them package the vaccine for hospital use.
He noted saddly that thousands of snakebite victims have died in Nigeria due to high cost and non availability of anti snakebite vaccine and treatment.