COVID-19: UNIUYO Alumni Donates N5m Research Grant to Pharmacy Faculty


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The University of Uyo Alumni Association has donated five million naira to the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom, as research support toward finding both preventive and curative solutions to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Presenting the donation, a grant, on Friday, the National President, Uniuyo Alumni, Mr Onofiok Luke, said that the unexpected difficulties occasioned by the pandemic called for a joint effort to combat the virus.
Luke said many countries of the world would be nationalistic in their approach toward one another hence the need for Nigeria to look within her circumstances to provide a workable solution to end the pandemic.
He called on Federal and States Governments as well as  Corporate Organisations and individuals to lend a hand and contribute their funding toward  COVID-19 research.
“All efforts must be put in place, both for preventive and curative purposes. 
“This donation is to encourage both the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Council and the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Uyo, to commence research on a possible cure to the pandemic. 
“We are today making available the initial sum of N2 million and the balance to make up the total sum of five million naira will soon be made available,” Luke said 
The association’s president noted that universities around the world were working tirelessly as well as sharing information to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic.
He expressed optimism that in the ways and manners of God, the one true cure of this global pandemic could be found in Akwa Ibom and harnessed in the laboratories of the faculty of pharmacy of the University of Uyo.
“This particular strain of the virus was unknown to man but now it is here. Our researchers and research institutions need to rise to the occasion in challenging this Pandemic that threatens our collective existence
“Let us not think that the cure to coronavirus will come or can only come from abroad, it may be right here with us in Akwa Ibom and it is in your hands to bring it forth.
“As an individual, when I look into the future, I see an era where local remedies will become indispensable as there will be increasing global inclination to nationalism. It will be everyone to themselves. 
“As foreign nations search for vaccines, they will only put themselves first with their medications. When they finally consider sending these vaccines our way, they will be doing so on their own terms.” 
He said, “We have therefore never had a better opportunity than now to wake from our years of slumber.
“I am using this opportunity to implore our States Government and corporate bodies to invest in research expertise in the University of Uyo. 
“I am also calling once more on our diaspora alumni to not forget home. Our institutions need them, both their skills and financial support. 
“I am very optimistic that our Faculty of Pharmacy and the College of Medicine, for instance, can bring the solution that our entire country needs at this time.”
He urged the institution to put in their best and ensure the appropriate use of the funds, reassuring them of continued support of the alumni. 
Receiving the grant, the Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, Dr Emmanuel Etim, thanked the alumni for the very thoughtful initiative. 
Etim commended the Luke led alumni for its show of solidarity while acknowledging that the desire for scientific work was always there.
The dean of the faculty of pharmacy pledged that the funds would be judiciously put to use.
On his part, the Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mr Akwaowoh Akpabio, appreciated the gesture and prayed God’s wisdom on the leadership of the alumni.
He assured that the PSN was already in the laboratory on COVID-19  adding that the donation from the alumni was a huge push and motivation to do more.

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