Nigerian Medical Laboratory Scientists Invent Viral Transport Medium for COVID 19 Samples

A team of Nigerian Medical Scientists have designed a viral transport medium for collection of COVID 19 samples across states in Nigeria. This information was obtained recently during an interview with the team lead of the research group that invented the device, Associate Professor Musa Muhibi. Muhibi, who is the current Acting Head of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science of the Edo State University, Uzauire, disclosed that the need for the invention came up at a time when there was a scarcity of the device due to movement restrictions in the country. He said  “My team produced the viral transport medium used for collection of samples for COVID 19 testing in Osun State and other states in Nigeria during a period when there was scarcity in the country due to movement restrictions.”

He further stated that even though the product is undergoing independent validation by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria as an in vitro device, his team has continuously been meeting demands from suppliers who have been approaching them for the device. He stated that the item was used by some states including Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Imo states respectively.  

While speaking further on the development, Muhibi stated that many university teachers in Nigeria could do better than they are currently doing to solve societal challenges if the right environment is created for them to exhibit their skills. He called on government to address the challenges of power failure and dearth of modern equipment in order to motivate able and willing researchers to do researches that speak to our problems.  He enjoined university faculties in the country not to relent in updating their technical skills and knowledge. He advocated team work and collaboration among Nigerian researchers as one of the surest route and to come up with research ventures that address the problems in the Nigerian system.

On his opinion on the high rate of unemployment among Nigerian graduates, Muhibi called for a review of the entrepreneurial components of the courses offered in Nigerian tertiary institutions. He observed that there is an urgent need to fortify the entrepreneurship aspect of the courses in order to make students become self-reliant in their respective fields of study.   

Musa Abidemi Muhibi, an Associate Professor of Laboratory Haematology and Blood Transfusion Science, is currently the Secretary General of the Haematology and Blood Transfusion Scientists Society of Nigeria as well as the Chapter Secretary for West Africa Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science. He  is a Fellow of both Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) and West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS). He has published more than 60 scientific articles in reputable journals, authored or co-authored 3 text books in the field of Haematology and Biomedical Research Ethics. 

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