Muhibi Musa is an Associate Professor of Laboratory Haematology and Blood Transfusion Science. He is the Acting Head of Department of Medical Laboratory Science in Edo State University, Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria. In a conversation with AbitoCitta, he shared his career journey and his team’s invention of a locally made transportation device for COVID 19 sample. Here are the excerpts of the interview
AC: Could you please tell us about yourself?
MM: Musa Abidemi Muhibi is a Fellow of both Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) and West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS); and a bioethicist trained through EDCTP grants. I am a faculty member of Foundation in Laboratory Leadership and Management (FLLM) module. I served as Osun State Branch Chairman of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) between 2008 and 2012 and I was the chairman of forum of branch chairmen and secretaries in year 2010 through 2011.
I participated as an assessor in the Laboratory Need Assessment of National Medical Laboratory Strategic Plan (NMLStP) conducted in the year 2012 and was a member of the Technical Working Group that prepared State Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS for the State of Osun (2010-2015). I served as Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) Branch Chairman for Osun State between 2008 and 2012 and was the Chairman for the forum of State Chairmen and Secretaries (2010/2011).
I have received several awards among which was an award of UNESCO/Merck in Switzerland during the maiden edition of Merck Africa Research Summit in 2015.
I have published more than 60 scientific articles in reputable journals, authored/co-authored 3 text books, all in the field of Haematology and Biomedical Research Ethics. I reviewed the AMLSN E-learning modules in 2 consecutive years as a volunteer and several manuscripts for various journals’ editorial boards.
Currently, I am the Secretary General for Haematology and Blood Transfusion Scientists Society of Nigeria as well as Nigeria Chapter Secretary for West Africa Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science. I served as the Chairman of AMLSN Emergency Response Committee on COVID-19; a volunteering position through which my team has filled appreciable gaps in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by collaborating with government of the State of Osun.
I am presently an Associate Professor of Laboratory Haematology and Blood Transfusion Science and acting Head of Department of Medical Laboratory Science in Edo State University, Uzairue, Edo State, Nigeria. I am happily married. I serve as the National Secretary of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.
AC: A look at your profile on Google Scholar revealed that you have more than 45 publications spread across relevant journals. How do you generate research ideas? How did you achieve this?
MM: Research ideas are generated in the field of biomedical science by critically thinking through the processes and principles of medical laboratory procedures. Identifying gaps in knowledge, skills and delivery of quality health services to the populace will propel a scientist to explore using God’s gifted skills to answer questions and queries in our health care system, at local and global levels. Possession of technical skills and prerequisite knowledge, collaboration with colleagues with strengths in my weak areas, also helped in achieving goals of working through research endeavours; and its dissemination
AC: What roles do you think collaborations play in the life of a researcher or academic looking at your profile on Google Scholar with 18 collaborators?
MM:Team work works for efficient researchers, hence the need for collaboration. However, identifying whom to collaborate with is very key. You enter into a collaboration to synergize with others with potentials to deliver on your set goals.
AC: In what ways do you think the problem of unemployment could be addressed through Nigerian tertiary institutions’ curriculum?
MM:Tertiary institution curricula should be reviewed to fortify the entrepreneurial components of every course of study. Isolated entrepreneurship courses does not replace the need to deliberately skew the training of our students towards becoming self-reliant in their field of study
AC: As a Nigerian scholar based at home, do you think university teachers in the country could do cutting edge research in the face of challenges in the system?
MM:Many of the university teachers recruited based on competence can do better than they are doing now, if the environment is created for them to exhibit their skills in solving societal challenges, through translational researches.Regular power failure and lack of modern equipment hinder the able and willing researchers from performing the roles expected of them
AC: We learnt that you led a team of other researchers to construct a device used to transport samples for COVID 19 tests. Could you tell us more about this?
MM: My team produced 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. Other states that used our products include Imo State, Oyo State, Lagos State, Ekiti State among others. As I speak now, my team is still responding by producing the VTM to suppliers who approach us for the item. Our product was submitted for validation as an in vitro device, to Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria and the submission was acknowledged. Independent validation is ongoing on the submitted work.
AC: Thank you for your time.
MM: It is my pleasure