By Abujah Racheal
Abuja, Aug. 5, 2020 (NAN)The International Research Center of Excellence (IRCE) at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) and ISN Products Nigeria Limited have embarked on a joint research into Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) among People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
The information is in a statement by Patrick Dakum, Chief Executive Officer of IHVN, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He stated that the research would take place at five designated medical facilities in Abuja.
He added that the study would help estimate the burden and progression of NCDs among PLHIV.
Dakum explained that “the study will take place in Kubwa General Hospital Abuja, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Nyanya General Hospital, Asokoro District Hospital and Police Hospital, Garki, Abuja.
“It seeks to estimate the burden and progression of non-communicable diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, prostate and cervical cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases among PLHIV over a period of two years.”
He added that the study was also significant because it would explore clinical, behavioural and psycho-social risk factors of NCDs among people who were newly diagnosed.
“All participants will be assessed for willingness to participate in future HIV vaccine and cure research with samples stored for future genetic research,” he assured.
Prof. Alash’le Abimiku, the IRCE Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the ISN-NCD study, said that the study would characterise risk factors that may trigger future development of NCDs among PLHIV.
The director said “we aim to recruit and follow up 200 newly diagnosed HIV positive clients and 200 people who are HIV negative for a period of two years.
“This cohort of individuals may also be used to study diverse disease outcomes in the future.”
The Executive Director of ISN Products Nigeria Ltd, Mr Felix Ofungwu, said “we are excited about this collaboration, primarily because the ISN-NCD study addresses two critical disease areas of HIV and NCD.
“ISN stands for quality and innovation in the medical diagnostics industry and we recognise that research provides the bedrock for innovative medical solutions.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ISN Products Nigeria Ltd is funding the research, to be conducted by IHVN/IRCE.
The company, a leading indigenous medical diagnostic outfit, had also donated equipment and reagents to Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, which is the central laboratory location for the research where samples from all study sites will be analysed.
Equipment contributed are a Cobas C111 Chemistry Analyzer, an AVL Electrolyte Analyzer, a BC 5150 Haematology Analyser and a Merck Lab Water Unit.
IRCE is a centre of excellence established in 2016 by IHVN.
The collaboration with ISN Products Nigeria Ltd is in line with the centre’s mandate of promoting public/private partnership for quality health services, capacity building and research in West Africa.
For this ISN-NCD study, IRCE researchers, Dr Elima Jedy-Agba, Dr Evaezi Okpokoro and Dr Gbenga Kayode will serve as co-investigators and coordinate the site activities at the five participating hospitals.