The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has said it is set to partner with Labiofam, a Cuban-based pharmaceutical company, to promote the adoption of biotechnology for malaria eradication in Nigeria.
NAFDAC’s Director-General, Paul Orhii, made the disclosure when he received a delegation from the company in Abuja on Monday.
He said the adoption of biotechnology, which used biolarvicides in the eradication of malaria, could boost Federal Government’s planned malaria eradication programme.
Mr. Orhii said the company was a world leader in the use of biotechnology to manage some of the world’s most disturbing health challenges, stressing that Nigerians would benefit from it immensely.
The NAFDAC boss said, “Cuba is a known leader in biotechnology all over the world, it has demonstrated this leadership in different ramifications.
“Recently, a company called Labiofam introduced to Nigeria the latest in biotechnology in cancer control and management and today, they have indicated interest to partner with us in the eradication of malaria. NAFDAC will look at what the company is introducing and partner with it in the interest of Nigerians; for me, I have no doubt in my mind that this will benefit Nigeria a lot.”
Mr. Orhii said Labiofam would leverage on the successes it had achieved in introducing affordable and convenient means of cancer management in Nigeria to promote its technology for malaria eradication.
He added, “The guarantee of eliminating malaria totally from Nigeria is largely dependent on biotechnology, which kills the larvae that can develop into mosquitoes.”
The leader of the team, Aramis Martinez, told the NAFDAC boss that the company was committed to sharing its expertise in dealing with challenging health issues.
Mr. Martinez, a vector consultant and head of the company’s malaria eradication project in Niger Republic, said the technology had been tested and certified to be suitable for malaria eradication.
He said the technology would assist Nigeria to reduce its malaria burden and related illnesses by introducing the mosquito eradication technology.
The expert assured that the technology, when adopted, would not only be effective but would be most cost effective means of eradicating malaria on a large scale.
The company recently introduced its new technology in cancer management to Nigerians.
The immediate past Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, had hinted Nigeria’s adoption of the biolarvicide technology in the new phase of its National Malaria Programme. (NAN)