Africa accounts for 15% of the global population but 25% of the worldwide disease burden. However, little scientific research is done within the continent to address health and disease problems. Taking COVID-19 pandemic as an example, with a population of about 200 million, as of December 2020, less than 0.5% of Nigeria’s population were tested for COVID-19. This is partly because only a few laboratories in Nigeria have the necessary equipment for conducting COVID-19 testing.
Research laboratories across Nigeria also have a drastic shortage of laboratory equipment. As a result, most Nigerian scientists are unable to conduct cutting-edge research in areas of bioscience. For example, as of 2020, no institution in Nigeria has a functional confocal or transmission electron microscope. This challenge is compounded by low funding for scientific research and a relatively small number of active scientists. These barriers limit biomedical research and innovations from Nigeria and Africa at large.
Dr Mahmoud Bukar Maina, born and raised in Yobe State, Nigeria, became inspired to help address these challenges after joining TReND in Africa – the non-profit science organization that promotes scientific research and training in Africa. As the founder of TReND Outreach Programme, in 2017, he organized a science festival in Yobe State University to raise public understanding of science and start discussions about the need for having a sustainable hub for biomedical science research and innovation. Due to the enthusiasm shown in Yobe, in 2019, Dr Maina started collecting laboratory equipment from institutions and groups around the world through TReND in Africa to establish a state-of-the-art bioscience laboratory in Yobe State University. As a result of the outpouring support received from groups and institutions worldwide, we were able to launch the laboratory in August 2021, which we decided to call biomedical science research and training centre (BioRTC) aimed at research and training in biomedical sciences to address local and global problems.
To become a centre of excellence in research and training in areas of biomedical sciences in Nigeria and Africa, helping to solve local and global health problems through scientific research.
To achieve our vision, we aim to
- serve as a training centre for the training of scientists and health professionals in biomedical science areas to facilitate the development of highly skilled scientists in Africa.
- provide the state-of-the-art core infrastructure to support biomedical science research
- facilitate research collaboration with scientists and institutions within and outside Nigeria to aid discoveries on local and global biomedical science research problems