NIGERIA – The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has established a Foundation, with the objectives to uplift the development and production of home-grown medicines, vaccines and technological innovations.
These innovations will greatly assist in addressing the health problems of Nigeria in particular, and Africa at large.
The NIMR Foundation Governing Board executives categorically stated that the foundation will prioritize development and implementation of mechanisms to elevate research, innovation and products/services development in healthcare.
This foundation will function as a viable business which can address human suffering in form of diseases and other healthcare- related problems.
NIMR Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization with financial and personnel structures designed to perpetuate and accelerate the mission and activities of NIMR.
The foundation aims to promote the advancement of medical research with a view to enhancing the health and well-being of the entire citizenry; to raise funds for research capacity strengthening activities on behalf of NIMR.
In addition to that, the foundation will source for, receive and administer funds, and grants from funding and donor agencies that cannot directly fund government organizations; and to develop and administer activities that complement the mission and mandate of NIMR.
NIMR Foundation also purposes to urgently raise funds to reverse the healthcare challenges in the country through a sustained funding mechanism over the next decade.
This will systematically train critical mass of junior and mid-level researchers to become global leaders, who are also able to perform high-quality, cutting-edge research and develop home grown solutions to our health system challenges.
Speaking at the public presentation of the foundation, Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola, who also doubles as NIMR Foundation governing board chairman, reinstated their pledge to rally support in mobilising Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike to raise the seed fund of N10 billion for the development of the nation’s healthcare system through research and technological innovation in the health sector.
“NIMR Foundation has identified a mix of short, medium and long-term revenue streams in mobilizing predictable and sufficient funding for its activities,” the minister stated.
On the rationale behind the establishment of the foundation, Director General, NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako, noted that the foundation, though a private not-for-profit organization, has come to bridge gap in NIMR’s operations.
This is as the institute continues to be challenged and constrained by its inability to provide funding to commission research into identified public health priorities or support training of young researchers as it is done in other climes like the MRC in the UK or NIH in the US.