Endowment, Trust Fund established for renowned virologist, late Prof.
David Olaleye, to support researchers at the start of their career.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that it took place at the first memorial conference hosted by the Board of Trustees, David O.
Olaleye Foundation for the late virologist who died in July 2021.
NAN reports that the late Olaleye was a professor of virology, who contributed immensely to research areas focused on the diagnosis, characterization and molecular epidemiology of various virus-related diseases in Nigeria.
The Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Abuja, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, who spoke virtually on the topic “Control of Epidemic Diseases in Nigeria: Challenges, Lessons and Opportunities”, said the late Professor was an institution that has contributed to many milestones and activities in disease research.
Adetifa stressed the need to build and maintain public trust between the government and the public as well as strengthen the health care delivery system by closing pre-existing gaps.
He emphasized building human resource capacity to prepare for a future pandemic and the need to bring surveillance down to the community level.
Oyo State Health Commissioner, Dr. Olabode Ladipo, who represented the Governor.
During the event, Seyi Makinde extolled the virtues and contributions of the late Olaleye in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“The COVID-19 task force is a legacy of what it has done.
Other infectious diseases would also be addressed.
“Public health is still considered the primary response to all of our disease burdens in the state and as such you will note that emergency operations have now been overhauled and are an integral part of the Department of Health response. Health.
“Although it was launched for COVID-19, it now responds to any medical emergencies that arise,” he said.
In another lecture, Professor Phyllis Kanki of Health Sciences Professor Mary Woodard Lasker at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health spoke virtually about Nigeria’s viral landscape.
She said one of the most pandemic is HIV with 38 million people living with HIV and 1.5 million newly infected in recent years according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Kanki noted Professor Olaleye’s contributions in research ranging from the HIV virus to other viruses such as Ebola, COVID-19, arboviruses and the Monkeypox epidemic.
She praised his impact in mentoring other virologists and collaborating with international organizations in medical education research in Nigeria.
In his speech, the president of the event, Prof.
Babafemi Olaleye declared the late professor.
Olaleye was a mentor, teacher, friend and father to many.
In their goodwill messages, Prof.
Rob Murphy from Northwestern University, Chicago USA, Prof.
Temitope Alonge, the former chief medical director of University College Hospital, among others, hailed the legacy of Prof.
Olaleye left and insisted on the need to support his pursuit with funding from the endowment fund.
Also, Prof Georgina Odaibo, the first doctoral student of Prof.
Olaleye said his contribution to developing the human capital of scientists was enormous.
Odaibo, who is also department head, virologist, University College Hospital, said she had worked with the late professor for 30 years and he also supervised her master’s project.
She described the deceased as a father and mentor as well as a selfless great seeker but always seeking the good of others.
In response, Mr. Abiola Olaleye, on behalf of the Olaleyes, appreciated their late father’s mentees for establishing the foundation.
He said that in addition to the one million naira grant for early career researchers across Nigeria, the family would also institute through the foundation a localized scholarship at the University of ‘Ibadan.