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Nigerian scientists discover Lassa fever drugs

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NATIONAL Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) says its scientists have identified three candidate drugs to be repositioned and repurposed for the treatment and eradication of Lassa fever.

  Director-General of NABDA, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, today.

  According to Prof. Mustapha, scientists at the Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics Department of the agency led by Professor Oyekanmi Nash, in collaboration with other researchers spearheaded the research.

  “This is NABDA’s contribution towards finding a lasting solution to Lassa fever disease in Nigeria. Diseases are increasing on a yearly basis. So, NABDA has repositioned and repurposed three candidate drugs for the treatment of Lassa fever,” he said.

  Expressing optimism that the drugs would address the challenges faced in treating patients diagnosed with Lassa fever ailment, NABDA boss recalled that on Wednesday, March 2, eminent scientists, researchers, medical practitioners and technology experts held a meeting in Abuja.

  Also, Director-General of Nigeria Medical Research Institute, Professor Babatunde Salako, said Lassa fever required special funding.

  According to Salako, moving science forward in Nigeria required all scientific institutes in the country to work together in order to make progress.

  “Lassa fever happens to be one disease in Nigeria that we haven’t been able to find a solution to and it is a problem that is peculiar to Africa especially to the West African sub region. Researchers in NABDA and their colleagues were able to come up with a repurpose agent that we can use to tackle the menace of Lassa fever in Nigeria,” he said.

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