Osun Varsity Wins Melinda Gates Foundation $1.4m Grant.

The Osun State University (OSU) has won Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation $1.4 million Research Grant and others grants.

Speaking yesterday at a press conference to herald the development, the Vice-chancellor of OSU, Professor Clement Adebooye, noted that the multi-disciplinary research team was led by Prof. Monsuru Adebayo Adeleke, a Professor of Public Health Entomology and Parasitology in the Department of Zoology of the institution.

Adeboye stressed that OSU developed a long-term research proposal for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the subject ‘Black Fly.’

“The research is for the development of black fly pheromone baited trap and some entomological studies on black fly trapping and control in Nigeria.” 

The vice-chancellor announced that the research team, in a stiff and healthy competition has received a grant of $1.4million for entomological research and black fly pheromones from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The other collaborators on this project included Prof. B.E.B Nwoke (Imo State University, Owerri); Prof. H.B Mafuyai (University of Jos); Prof. K.N Opara (University of Uyo) and Dr. O.A Surakat (Osun State University, Osogbo).

Other notable scientists from United States of America, United Kingdom and Costa Rica are also involved in the study.

Professor Adeboye emphasised that as the world targets year 2030 for global onchocerciasis elimination, black fly surveillance forms an integral part of assessment for assessment of elimination after repeated yearly administration of ivermectin (Mectizan) in the endemic communities.

 He, however, noted that the present tools are insufficient for epidemiologically important xenomontoring to conduct timely entomological assessment to stop mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin (Mectizan) and post-verification surveillance for onchocerciasis.

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He said: “In addition, the vector control approaches to reduce blackfly biting rates have not been fully explored to reduce transmission of persistent oncho-endemic hotspots in Nigeria.  These are issues to be addressed in the current studies.”

The vice-chancellor made it cleared that Prof. Adeleke is an astute zoologist with research interest in vector-borne diseases, disease surveillance tailored towards shaping health policy.

He  also affirmed that Adeleke was part of the team that designed the novel black fly dubbed Esperanza trap for the surveillance of onchocerciasis vectors in Africa and America under the supervision of Prof Thomas Unnasch of University of South Florida, USA, and Prof Mario Rodriguez-Perez (IPN-CBG, Mexico) funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The publication from the research won the Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO) Dr. Soper best Public Health Literature for the year 2014. 

While congratulating our University and Professor Adeleke for the present win, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Clement Adebooye expressed the university’s management’s appreciation to the funder and promised that necessary logistics will be made available for the successful implementation of the project as well as managing the grant according to the rule of the game.

Also an Assistant Lecturer won Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Early Career Grant.

An Assistant Lecturer is in the Department of Zoology and 2016 alumna of this university, Miss Sandra Onakhinor Osamudiame, just won an early career grant from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH), United Kingdom.

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The RSTMH Early Career Grants Programme is a platform created for early career researchers and global health professionals based anywhere in the world, and who have not previously had research funding registered to their name to win research grants.

In a related development, same Miss Sandra Onakhinor Osamudiame and Miss Toyosi Eniola Oyebola, who is also a science researcher, represented the Parasitology and Public Health Society of Nigeria (PPSN) South-West geopolitical zone at the debate competition of the PPSN 2022 Annual Conference, which took place in Abraka, Delta State, and came first place after besting ten other participants from the other five geopolitical zones in the country.

“Other feat recorded include excellence in Nigerian Law School one of our former students in the College of Law, Ayeni Oluwabusola Mary, bagged a first-class in the Nigerian Law School. This was confirmed in the result of the 2022 Bar Part II final examinations, which was released on Thursday, 17th November, 2022.”

“The bar finals is a mandatory examination which aspirants to the Nigerian Bar Association, must sit for and pass before getting called to bar and accredited to practice as a lawyer.”

Also one Oluwabusola finished as the Best Graduating Student in the Faculty of Law for the 2020 graduating set, and the second-best graduating student overall for that same year.

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A 400 level student of this university, also from the College of Law, Richard Solomon Abayomi, was recently appointed a West African Youth Ambassador by the West African (ECOWAS) Youth Council, making him one of the youngest recipients of the award, as well as the Nelson Mandela Integrity Awards.”

 He got this appointment as a result of his laudable antecedents of dedication, hard work, and diligence in the area of service to humanity, and for his commendable works as an advocate and relentless crusader of entrepreneurship promotion for African Youths.

“Richard received a confirmatory letter signed by the Council’s President/Chairperson, AMB. Emmanuel S. William, dated Wednesday, 2nd November, 2022. The documents attached to his appointment include: a diplomatic ECOWAS ID card, an ECOWAS Certificate, and a specialized automobile plate number, which were all issued to foster his ease of movement across the ECOWAS region, and to enable him effectively maintain diplomatic ties related with the Council.”

“At a young age, he is already a recipient of over 15 leadership awards and laurels. Also recall that Richard recently bagged an award as West Africa’s Most Innovative Law student 2022 and was Nigeria’s Most promising Law student in 2021. He is also the Southwest Zonal Director of the Law Students’ Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), and was recently awarded a Global Youth Ambassador by Thier World Organization, a global children’s charity, for his contributions to the lives of his peers through his NGO, the Voice of The Youth Movement.” 

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