Mr. Ikenna Nwakanma, the first chairman of the society, said in Abuja that the development of other critical health researches was imperative to containing or preparing for future pandemics.
Nwakanma who emphasized the need for a functional structure for medical research, said it was key to overcoming onslaughts of global deadly pandemics.
“If we had set up a functional structure for medical research with the right human capacity, maybe we would have been speaking confidently on what our fate is on the current situation.
“Some time ago, we called on the government to view Public health, particularly infectious diseases like HIV and TB as National Security problems as they have the capacity to destabilize the economy, cause huge mortality in a short time and disrupt social life of the population.
“Today, COVID-19 has driven the point home clearly for us. The question is, are we going to learn from this or still wait for another episode of bioterrorism for us to enter into a state of confusion again,” he said.
The cochairman described COVID -19 as bioterrorism, expressing fear of similar reoccurrence in the future as he called for the government’s preparedness to own up the containment.
According to him, today, it is COVID-19, next time who knows what it will be. Whatever it will be the question is, what are we doing about it today.
He said the government should utilize the army of microbiologists and scientists being churned out yearly in the country.
“That alone is a security risk because we must account for where our trained scientists are and what they are doing.
“We may not be able to identify possible domestic bioterrorism from our jobless Bioscientists who may be feeling ignored, and frustrated by the system that has no place for them,’ he said.
Nwakanma urged the government to rise to the occasion for accelerated success in the general health technology for a secured Nigeria.
He however explained that the biggest security problem confronting the country was not Boko Haram and their likes but Bio-terrorism and other public health problems.
” We should devote as much money as we spend on other security problems into public health preparedness and response to ensure a safer country,” he added.