Three research works on malaria have won the $100,000 tag for the 2017 Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) Prize for Science.
The advisory board yesterday, in Lagos, made the announcement after a two-year intensive search for innovations to effectively tackle the disease.
The chairman of the board, Prof. Akpoveta Susu, named the winning works from 27 entries as Improving Home and Community Management of Malaria: Providing the Evidence Base by Ikeoluwapo Ajayi, Ayodele Jegede & Bidemi Yusuf; Multifaceted Efforts at Malaria Control in Research: Management of Malaria of Various Grades and Mapping Artemisinin Resistance by Olugbenga Mokuolu and Chukwuma Agubata's Novel lipid microparticles for effective delivery of Artemether antimalarial drug using a locally-sourced Irvingia fat from nuts of Irvingia gabonensis var excelsa (ogbono).
The General Manager, External Relations at NLNG, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said: "This is not just a great milestone for the prize and NLNG but for the people of Nigeria and Africa."
It is a great milestone for the people of Nigeria and Africa. Today's result is two-pronged. Firstly, we finally have a winner for the Science Prize and secondly, we have some commendable research works that have contributed significantly to the body of knowledge on the disease and even provide some interesting opportunities for local approach to defeating malaria. "It is truly a day to celebrate. But the hard work must not stop. The winners will need support to translate this to real benefits for Nigerians. We are calling on the government and corporate Nigeria to support this initiate and bring it to life."
He continued: "I commend the board and panel of judges for giving hope to science and scientists alike by announcing winners after a long stretch of no-winner verdicts. NLNG will not relent in using this prize to impact positively on Nigerians, and helping to build a better Nigeria."
Susu acknowledged the difficulties associated with scientific research in developing countries, including Nigeria, where infrastructural deficit could deal a debilitating challenge.
He noted: "Our hope is that the award of this prize would, in its own little way, provide a spark that would reinvigorate the passion of our budding scientists in finding solutions to our everyday issues."