Claims have been made by the University of Lagos that it has discovered a new method of diagnosing Malaria, after a thorough research was conducted by its Department of Medical Micro Biology and Parasitology
Prof. Wellington Oyibo who is the Director, Research and Innovation of the institution, revealed on Thursday that the university’s research on the test for the disease without the use of blood was validated in 2016.
According to him, the feat by the institution was establishing it as a fast rising clinical trial site where diagnosis could be carried out in the country. He further stressed that the institution had made a platform and enabling environment available to researchers that have been proffering valid solutions to life challenges.
He further noted that the experience he had garnered from his exploration of the malaria work space had given him enlightenment that the disease was a major challenge to health in the country.
He added that “one of the major challenges in managing the menace has to do with case management, as there are assumptions that all fevers are malaria.
“This leads to excessive diagnosis and over treatment.”
He pointed out that the policy on the testing of malaria before treatment was authorized since 2010, but still noted that people are still not running tests despite the policy
“So, one way by which we can encourage diagnosis is by introducing tests that will not require blood from patients.
“Under the new test formula, medicine retailers will be able to carry out diagnosis before dispensing drugs.
“If we keep selling drugs for a disease that does not exist, it will amount to waste of resources and patients will be suffering.’’
He further revealed that the research was conducted in collaboration with a group of researchers in Baltimore, US, adding that the diagnosis of malaria through urine samples was the outcome.
He explained that “the first urine malaria test’’ has been validated.
He also claimed that the usage of urine samples for malaria test was the first clinical and global trial to be conducted in the world. He revealed the test had been officially registered by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
He went on and asked the Federal Government to create avenues through which people could have easy access to malaria tests through the new approach
“This achievement shows that UNILAG is becoming a clinical trial site for diagnosis.
“In the past, trial test are conducted in India and Bangladesh or somewhere in Asia for Nigerians.
“But now, we are conducting tests for Nigerian patients and we are providing data and that is quite remarkable.’’
He stated that the new breakthrough in malaria research would enhance malaria diagnosis and treatment.