Wednesday, 13 May 2015

We are working on new framework to speed up R & D for Ebola and diseases that could become epidemics- WHO

We are working on new framework to speed up R & D for Ebola and diseases that could become epidemics
Recently, the World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola free and from available records, there are just seven confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea and two in Sierra Leone indicating that a move toward zero cases in West Africa is approaching. However, experts in a meeting at Geneva decided that there should be a roadmap for accelerating research and development into new medical products to fight Ebola and other epidemic-prone diseases. Present at the meeting were scientists, industry representatives and public health officials who suggested that the situation cannot continue this way. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General said that the world was totally unprepared to deal with epidemics of SARS and H1N1 bird flu and to correct this, participants are working a new structure to accelerate research and development for diseases that could become epidemics and other health threats.

Kieny was quoted saying, "If something like Ebola ever happened again to this level, the world needs to be ready with a blueprint, an R&D preparedness plan, with clear rules, platform for information sharing, established processes to expedite development and clinical trials, to activate coordinated action and limit the damage." She further noted that for certain diseases, the development of medical products should be stated before a potential outbreak. The speed with which new tools for Ebola were developed and clinical trials for vaccines and drugs were set up in less than 10 minutes instead of the normal five to ten years indicates the world can react more quickly than in the past to combat spreading diseases. According to her, there are now two commercial diagnostics to detect Ebola and at least two possibly effective vaccines, however, the window of opportunity for testing is closing and as Ebola wanes, there may not be enough cases to continue testing the vaccines and several candidate drugs.

Ebola outbreak have claimed more than 11,000 lives in West Africa within a short period of time. I believe such framework agreed upon at the meeting to tackle emerging deadly diseases is a way forward to reduce the mortality rates of these diseases in case an outbreak occurs. Ebola caught us unaware and it claimed so many lives.

Original text was written by Lisa Schlein, Voice of America.

Sunday, 5 April 2015


The University of Lagos has emerged the first and best in Nigeria, in the latest web ranking of universities across the world released by 4 International Colleges & Universities (4icu) organization. The latest ranking released by the web-based body at placed the University in the first position in Nigeria and 20th in Africa. The 4icu ranking is a measure of an institution’s presence on the web. It is computed using a number of parameters that revolve round the quantum and quality of electronic resources on a website as well as access to such resources.

University of Ilorin which on previous occasions had ranked first in Nigeria, ranked fourth this time in the ranking behind University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University and University of Ibadan.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Unilorin to Host the NASA International Space Apps Challenge

The University of Ilorin is to host the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place over 48hours in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on earth and life in space. This year there are over 30 challenges in four areas: Earth, Outer Space, Humans and Robotics. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of government collaborators and over 100 organizing teams across the globe.

The Exploration of Space is by necessity a unified international effort, and Nigeria is not left out as diversity of experience and perspective inevitably produces a better product. This year, Ilorin would be joining Lagos, Calabar and over 130 cities worldwide in bringing together teams of technologists, students, scientists, designers, artists, and developers to collaborate and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges.

The Idea of a Challenge is so compelling because it acknowledges the fact that the world is facing serious challenges – and that we all have to work together to approach them. While this year, 2 Finalists teams from Ilorin would be offered prizes and then fly to Lagos to compete at the National finals, the global award includes an opportunity to attend a NASA launch. Globally, the focus is to enable 48hours of highly engaged collaboration by utilizing openly available data, supplied through NASA missions and technology as well as the talent of volunteers from the planet to advance space exploration and improve the quality of life on Earth.

Interested participants should register at http://2015.spaceappschallenge .org/register/ and signup to attend at their preferred city. Everyone is encouraged to take a look at the challenges, start brainstorming on possible solutions now and form teams or decide to join a team at the event. The event is scheduled as follows; 9TH and 10TH April – Hackathon, 12th April – Demo and Prize giving day and 13th April – Winning teams from Ilorin Compete in Lagos for National Prize. The venue of the event is University of Ilorin Auditorium Basement, 9am prompt for Hackathon days.

Monday, 30 March 2015

2nd International Conference on Imagining Order/Other- The Humanities and Global Peace and Security

University of Ibadan
The faculty of arts, University of Ibadan is calling for papers for the 2nd International Conference on Imagining Order/Other- The Humanities and Global Peace and Security which would take place at the conference centre of the University. The date of the conference is scheduled for 18th of May to 22nd of May, 2015. For individuals willing to present a paper, abstracts of not more than 250 words, which explore or intersect with one of the following sub-themes should be submitted; theorizing order/other in humanities, theorizing peace and security in the world, othering/ordering global peace, dis/order in literary studies, dis/order/other in new media, othering/ordering languages and usages, dis/order and other in religion and philosophy, utopia, dystopia and heterotopias, global powers, global politics and global terrorism, order/other gender, culture and religion, otherness in Euro-Asian and Arab-African culture.

Deadline for submission of abstract is 13th April, 2015 while notice of acceptance of abstracts is 17th April, 2015. Registration fee covering conference materials and dinner includes; $100 for international participants, N10, 000 for local participants and N5, 000 for graduate students.

Other details about the conference including accommodation rates in nearby hotels and excursion to important sites and monuments in Nigeria shall be provided in due course.

For more details on the conference, please visit the University website

Appointment of Vice Chancellor- University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan have released an internal/external advertisement for the appointment of  a new Vice-Chancellor. Part of the advertisement states thus, "The post of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria, will become vacant by 01 December 2015. In accordance with the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Decree No. 11 of 1993 (as Amended by Decree No. 25 of 1996) and by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1993 (Amendment) Act 2003 and Act 2012, the Governing council of the University of Ibadan wishes to commence the process of filing the vacancy. Interested are requested to note certain information about the University".

The hunt for the man to lead the prestigious University to greater heights and continue the existing legacies have begun. Who would it be?