Wednesday, July 18, 2007

S& T: Africa has what it takes to rule the world, but …

Senior Research Fellow at the Biotechnology Advanced Laboratory, Abuja, Dr. Danladi Kuta, has said that Africa has all it takes to rule the world in science and technology, but lacks the management and leadership skills to drive this.

Kuta who spoke on the possibility of how the continent “can do things with less talk” especially as pertains to socio-economic development, science and technology, said that Africa has lots of ‘powerful’ people who are pre-occupied with developing innovative scientific solutions to help mankind.

But noted that they need to develop management and leadership skills to carry these innovations to the next level.

Africa, therefore, he said, has innovations and some already on the table.

He cited an example with the anti-sickling drug, NICOSAN, which he described as a phyto-drug made from combinations of local herbs by Nigerian scientists.

“And it’s currently being commercially produced in form of capsules in Nigeria,” Kuta said.

While lauding the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for setting up the list for science and information technology for development (STI4D) discussing group, he noted that the only people that probably do things without discussion with stakeholders, are the military juntas.

Whereas insisting that Africa has what it takes to make a change in science and technology, Kuta noted that most of the brains behind his aforementioned example with NICOSAN are Africans.
“But the message is, African scientists can do it! Management is the issue,” he said.

Kuta emphasised that African challenge in this respect is to quickly find solution to the apparent lack of management and leadership skills at levels.

“How else can one explain why a truly big country like Nigeria, with all the abundant quality human and material resources, is still most of the time in total darkness, and there may soon be a ‘state of emergency on energy’ in the country?” he decried.

He expressed the believe that if Africans could devote more time to discuss the challenge of effective management of available resources at all levels, the continent would be able to produce better result-oriented project managers and leaders that will exploit efficiently, the available human and material resources to produce e-global resource community.

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Asclepius said...

United Nations Economic Commission For Africa

Book Of Abstracts

Science With Africa Conference

March 3-7, 2008

page 30

Evaluation of Niprisan (Herbal Medicine) for the Management of Sickle Cell

Charles Wambebe and Hadiza Khamofu, International Biomedical Research in Africa, Abuja,
Nigeria,, Joseph Okogun, Nathan Nasipuri and Karynius Gamaniel,
National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abuja, Nigeria.

About 70% of all sickle cell anemia (SCA) subjects reside in Africa, estimated at over 12 million. The prevalence of SCA is estimated at over 2% while infant mortality is about 8% and survival rate of SCA babies in rural areas by five years of age is about 20%. These statistics indicate that SCA is probably the most neglected (and sometimes forgotten by health authorities) serious public health disorder with serious mortality and morbidity rates in Africa. The objective was to undertake pre-clinical and clinical assessments of a herbal extract vis-à-vis management of sickle cell anemia using Good Laboratory Practice and Good Clinical Practice principles respectively. In Africa, there is no standard treatment for sickle cell anemia, only palliative management is generally available. In view of this situation, most SCA subjects use herbal medicines. NIPRISAN is a standardized extract from four medicinal/food plants: Piper guineenses seeds, Pterocarpus osun stem, Eugenia caryophyllum fruit and Sorghum bicolor leaves. Short term toxicity study indicated that NIPRISAN was safe in laboratory animals. Bio-activity guided fractionation show that vanillin and aromatic aldehydes may be the bioactive moieties. NIPRISAN reversed sickled red blood cells and
protected them from being sickled when exposed to low oxygen tension. NIPRISAN dose-dependently delayed polymer formation of haemoglobin S. NIPRISAN induced 85% increased solubility of deoxy haemoglobin S. The in vivo efficacy study was undertaken at Children Hospital of Philadelphia, USA. Histological examination of lungs of control Tg transgenic mice carrying human sickle haemoglobin showed entrapment of massive numbers of sickled cells in alveolar capillaries. NIPRISAN significantly cleared the lungs of sickled cells. Furthermore, NIPRISAN induced profound effect on the survival time of Tg mice under hypoxic conditions (p<0.0001). The phase II clinical data indicated that all the subjects benefited from NIPRISAN with no serious adverse effect. About 80% of the subjects did not experience any crisis during the study (12 months). The subjects experienced significant reduction in hospital admission while attendance at school profoundly increased. Furthermore, there was no evidence of kidney or liver damage. NIPRISAN has been patented, licensed to an American company, registered and being manufactured at Abuja for global market.

Kante Luis said...