Omotayo O Ebong, Ijeom H Ogbuehi and Eme O Asuquo are conferred with Ronald Ross Research Award-2015 in Public Health by IASR
27 March, 2015, Nigeria, USA NEWS CORP
The Ronald Ross Research Award-2015 in Public Health goes to Omotayo O Ebong, Ijeom H Ogbuehi and Eme O Asuquo from Nigeria. The research findings were published on world’s prestigious The Journal of Public Health. International Agency for Standards and Ratings recognizes the researchers among World's 500 Most Influential Pharmacologist for the year 2015 on earth. Omotayo Oluranti Ebong (B.Sc. Ibadan, M.Sc. ABU, Zaria, Ph. D, Newcastle upon Tyne, England) is Professor of Pharmacology at Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences. She is Director at Centre for Malaria Research and Phytomedicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt. Prof Ebong’s research interests include Malaria: Chemotherapeutic of antimalarial drugs; traditional medicinal plant research; Plasmodium diversity; Health Information & Education, HIV Prevention research HIV/AIDS: Health Information & Education, HIV Prevention research. She has publications in national and international journals. Mrs. Ijeoma Happiness Ogbuehi graduated with a second class upper division in Biochemistry, from Imo state University, Owerri, Nigeria. She has a Master of Science degree in Pharmacology, from the University of Port Harcourt, and is presently a Research fellow and Lecturer in the Centre for Malaria Research and Phytomedicine. She has completed her doctoral thesis in Pharmacology, also in the University of Port Harcourt. She has also published papers and abstracts which have been presented in International and Local Conferences. Her research interests include Chemotherapy and Phytomedicine. Eme Olukemi Asuquo is a lecturer in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine. She is a member of the Research Team at the Centre for Malaria Research and Phytomedicine (CMRAP) of the University of Port Harcourt. Eme holds a Bachelor in Science in Microbiology from the University of Uyo, a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from the University of Lagos, a Master of Public Health Degree in Health Promotion and Education from the University of Ibadan and a Diploma in Health Systems Management from Galilee College Israel. She is currently conducting a literature for her PhD in Public Health. Omotayo O Ebong, Ijeom H Ogbuehi and Eme O Asuquo from Nigeria made a historical victory over the international competition and won Ronald Ross Research Award-2015 in Public Health. Their research was highlighted in international media and gathered a large worldwide attention in scientific circles while it appeared in world's most read journal 'The Journal of Public Health'. In their report on Practice of pre-treatment testing for malaria by health care providers in Port Harcourt, Nigeria they mention that Malaria accounts for 60% of outpatient visits and 30% hospitalization in Nigeria. In 2011, the World Health Organization Global Malaria Program’s new initiative, ‘T3 - Test, Treat and Track’ urges malaria-endemic countries and donors to move towards universal access to diagnostic testing before antimalarial treatment. In view of the foregoing, the present study was carried out to determine the practice of Health Care Providers (HCPs) with regards to testing before treatment of malaria in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. HCPs: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, community health workers (CHWs) and private medicine vendors (PMVs) were sampled. All the doctors and pharmacists interviewed were familiar with the treatment guideline of testing before treatment of malaria. However, only 89.6% nurses, 33.3% PMVs, and 25% CHWs had knowledge of the guidelines. With regards to adherence to the guidelines, only 44.3% of HCPs complied. HCPs’ limitations includes; emergency case (51.3%); laboratory costs (23.1%); non-availability of diagnostic tools (10. 3%); proximity to a laboratory (7.7%) and inability to use test kits (7.6%). This study shows that a significant number of the PMVs and CHWs have no knowledge of ‘testing before treatment’ initiative. It also reveals that inadequate resources are a major limiting factor to compliance to guidelines. Under their leadership the research area is surely likely to expand beyond the horizons. It will be worthy to explore the further potential under their legacy. Omotayo O Ebong, Ijeom H Ogbuehi and Eme O Asuquo as valuable intellectuals for the Nigeria offer exclusive opportunities for scholars around the world. One of the most attractive weightage for Nigeria is to have the awardees for promotion of the concerned scientific discipline for the benefit of its civilians. Thus Nigeria which has excellent track record to produce brain storming intellectuals, has offered a new extension in terms of Omotayo O Ebong, Ijeom H Ogbuehi and Eme O Asuquo to world. For proper management of malaria endemicity in Nigeria, there is the need to strengthen the capacity of health care providers to adhere to global policies for malaria treatment and to provide increased access to diagnostic tools. This study was limited in scope, as only health care providers in Port Harcourt region of Nigeria were sampled. Further work should be done on a larger scale to substantiate the evidence presented in this study. They recommend public-private sector partnership so as to increase fund availability and access to Rapid Diagnostic test kits for a more efficient health care delivery in malaria endemic countries. Continued public health enlightenment is also needed to educate the population on the gains of proper case management of malaria. More so, since Private Medical Vendors have remained a significant force in informal health services in the country, periodic training is necessary to keep them informed of advances in treatment guidelines and advise them on need for appropriate referral of complicated cases. All contributed equally to the conduct of the research and manuscript writing. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. The study received financial support from World Bank STEP-B Project. They appreciate the contribution of the Health Care Providers especially the Patent Medicine Vendors that participated in this study. Special thanks go to all the staff of the Centre for Malaria Research and Phytomedicine and the industrial training students attached to the centre during the study period for their invaluable role in data collection. You can share this News URL on Facebook or your Social Media Site/ blog. 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