Nigeria’s Tertiary Education Trust Fund has approved $16.83m for medical research this year an increase of 13.33%. Of this amount, $1.98m is specifically for research on COVID-19. The fund was set up in 1993 to improve federal and state tertiary education in Nigeria, partly by supporting research and publications. Its main source of income is the 2% education tax paid by registered companies. Nigeria is currently one of the countries with the lowest health research funding in the world. It contributes 0.22% of its GDP to research. Despite the plethora of health issues in the country, and the poor health indicators, very little appropriation exists in the national budget for addressing health research. The education trust fund should continue its present great work. But its contribution is not sufficient to handle the quantum of health challenges that need to be resolved in Nigeria, along with innovations that need to be identified to promote the health and social well-being of all Nigerians. Health is a critical component of the Sustainable Development Goals. And as COVID-19 has demonstrated, it is essential for any country’s prospective development. Research is needed to galvanise Nigeria’s health system, which ranks 187th out of 195 countries (according to the World Health Organisation).
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION