COVID-19: LASU gives N2.5m research grants to three lecturers

The Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, has given three of its lecturers a total of N2.5 million for research activities on COVID-19 pandemic.

The three dons are Professor Benjamin Aribisala from the Faculty of Science, Dr Modupe Akinyinka and Dr Tolulase Yemitan, both from the College of Medicine of the university.

They were unveiled as the winners of the  university’s grants among other colleagues at the third edition of the research fair held on the campus recently, where they showcased their respective research projects as their contributions to solving challenges surrounding COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and globally.

While Aribisala’s research work was titled “Development of artificial neural network model for detection of COVID-19,” those of Akinyinka and Yemitan centred on  “COVID-19 vaccine acceptability, hesitancy and willingness to pay among Lagos residents” and “Comparison of 3D-Printed suction device with two intraoral evacuator devices for performance, aerosol and spatter reduction during dental procedures.”

Speaking at the event, a global figure in the field of public health and former medical director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Professor Akin Osibogun commended LASU for its various efforts in containing the spread of the deadly virus since the first case was reported in the country.

He, however, urged Nigerians to continue to observe all the already stipulated’ COVID-19 guidelines and protocols of the government, such as proper wearing of nose masks, regular washing of hands, maintaining of social physical distancing and avoiding crowded gatherings, among others.

He also encouraged all eligible adults to go for vaccination, saying all the approved COVID-19 vaccines available so far globally were safe and effective to boost the body  immune system to suppress complications of any variants of the virus.

He said that though the vaccine could not prevent anyone from getting infected with the virus, they had been proven potent to reduce chances of infection resulting in complications.

Osibogun, who spoke on “Prevention is better than a cure: Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic,” maintained that strict adherence to all the non-pharmaceutical protocols remained an effective way to prevent the spread of the virus among people.

“It is cheaper and better to breathe through a nose mask than to breathe through a ventilator.” he said.

In their separate remarks, the duo of the chairman, Governing Council of LASU, Mr David Sunmoni and the acting vice chancellor of the university, Professor Oyedamola Oke, said the direction of this year’s research fair by the university was apt and timely, based on the pressure COVID-19 had put both human and material resources globally.

They said that though some achievements had been recorded to get the country out of the pandemic and also mitigate its effects, more grounds were needed to be covered to arrive at the desirable destination, hence the university’s focus on the pandemic at this year’s research fair.

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