Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria’s Africa Centre of Excellence in Neglected Tropical Diseases  and Forensic Biotechnology (ACENTDFB), under the auspices of the National Universities Commission (NUC) last Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nagasaki University, Japan, on Tropical Diseases.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony at the NUC Secretariat, the Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, Dr. Gidado Kumo, who represented the Executive Secretary, expressed delight that Nigerian universities were beginning to explore meaningful collaborations with their counterparts in other parts of the world, describing the MoU as a worthwhile venture which the Commission had always advocated.  

The Deputy Executive Secretary noted that the area of tropical diseases had been a problem that required solution and that the Commission appreciated that ABU keyed into that special area.

He charged ABU to further expand its scope in the area of tropical medicine so as to attract doctors from other climes to it’s ACENTDFB for further studies, stressing that the ultimate would be to strive to make ABU an enviable centre of Excellence in Tropical diseases.

Dr. Kumo recalled that he was part of the delegation the Commission sent to understudy some universities in Egypt and Sudan where it was discovered that medical physics and radiation medicine were striving in those countries’ universities, adding that only University of Lagos had specialised in that area in Nigeria.

He encouraged ABU and Nagasaki University to keep to the terms of the MoU and to foster further collaborations. He urged both institutions to work together as partners in radiation medicine and medical physics as  NUC was very much interested in that  area.

The Vice-Chancellor of ABU, Professor Ibrahim Garba said that the relationship between ABU and Nagasaki University started a long time ago, stating that the signing of the MoU was consolidation of the previously established relationship as both universities had been having exchange programmes that were beneficial to them. 

Professor Garba expressed satisfaction with the collaboration on tropical medicine as he informed that ABU also had collaboration with Debrecen University, Hungary in the area of medicine.

The President of Nagasaki University, Professor Shigeru Kono, said that the University was founded in 1949. According to him, the University became a Centre of Excellence in Tropical diseases due to the resultant effect of radioactivity witnessed in the city of Nagasaki after the World War. By this, the Nagasaki Institute of Medicine, domiciled in the University had to rise up to the challenge on the need to develop tropical medicine and therefore became a centre of research in various medical fields.

He said that the institute of tropical medicine, Nagasaki University had the major aim of overcoming tropical diseases, particularly infectious diseases, and various health problems associated with them. Towards this end, he promised that the University would work in collaboration with ABU to spearhead research in tropical medicine by striving for excellence.

He said that the World Bank was assisting both universities to carry out research in Radiation Medicine and infectious disease, expressing the hope that Nagasaki University’s partnership with ABU would be strengthened with the signing of the MoU and also help to foster  further collaboration in the area of students exchange.

A representative of the Japanese Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. Nami Nakayoshi, in his remarks said that the signing of the MoU would not only promote and deepen the relationship of ABU and Nagasaki University but also that of Nigeria and Japan.

In a brief remark, Professor M. K Aliu of ABU commended NUC for facilitating the signing of the MoU.

Highlight of the meeting was the presentation of a medical equipment for tropical diseases by Professor Satoshi from Nagasaki University to ABU Vice-Chancellor.

Present at the meeting were representatives from ABU and Nagasaki University.  Also present were NUC Directors of Academic Planning, Dr. Noel Abiodun Saliu; Human Resources, Mr. Boniface C. Odum; Ag. Director, Research Innovation and Information Technology, Mal. Farouk and NUC Visiting Professor Abdullahi Y. Ribadu