The Federal Government, the United States and the World Health Organisation have opened Ebola Study centres in Abuja and Jos.
With support from the Defence Reference Laboratory, one of the centres is located at the Ministry of Defence-United States Department of Defence within the Ship House headquarters of the Ministry of Defence.
Unveiling the Abuja centre, Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, said the two centres had been opened for the study and research into the Ebola vaccine in the country.
Alhasan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Linus Awute, said the second centre was located at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos.
He commended the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle and the USDoD Walter Reed Programme, which collaborated with the MoD Health Implementation Programme to facilitate Nigeria’s participation in the Ebola study.
He said the vaccine, when developed and approved, would be beneficial to most people at risk as a result of the dreaded vaccine in parts of Africa.
The Minister recalled that Nigeria played a major role in the fight to control the disease in other African countries apart from preventing its spread within the country.
He said, “This is one of the two sites where this vaccine study is scheduled to take place in Nigeria, the other site being the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
“The effort to develop an Ebola vaccine is a product of the collective resolve to protect our world against the disease. It is a resolution which however requires international collaboration and partnership for its execution.
“We therefore thank the Government of the United States of America, the World Health Organisation and stakeholders for extending a hand of partnership in bringing this vaccine trial to Nigeria.
“The vaccine when finally developed and approved will be of direct benefit to most persons at risk in many parts of Africa. However, it will be universally beneficial because we live in a world that has been rightly described as a global village where what happens in one part rapidly affects the other.”
Minister of Defence, Gen Aliyu Gusau, represented by the Minister of State for Defence, Col. Augustine Akobundu (retd), said a lot of efforts had been committed into the development of the vaccine.