We are happy to inform that winners have emerged following the conclusion of the 2017, The Nigeria Prize for Science competition which was announced on MalariaWorld on 12th of May 2017.
From a total receipt of 27 entries, the panel of judges identified three as joint winners. The winners have been presented to the public in a ceremony which held on Wednesday February 6, 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria and have received the prize money of $100,000.
The following is a synopsis of the winning entries:
- Novel lipid microparticles for effective delivery of Artemether antimalarial drug using a locally-sourced Irvingia fat from nuts of Irvingia gabonensis var excelsa (ogbono) by Chukwuma Agubata
Chukwuma Agubata’s entry was recommended because of the demonstration of productive scientific research which identified the potency of the use of “ogbono” oil to ensure that administered antimalaria drugs are well absorbed. One of the important problems associated with malaria treatment is ineffective drug delivery. He developed novel lipid microparticles for effective delivery of artemether antimalarial drug using a locally-sourced irvingia fat from the nuts of Irvingia gabonensis var. excelsa (ogbono) grown in Nigeria. Good absorption will lead to high blood levels which in turn will increase cure rates and reduce the chances of emergence of resistance.
- Multifaceted Efforts at Malaria Control in Research: Management of Malaria of Various Grades and Mapping Artemisinin Resistance by Gbenga Mokuolu
Professor Mokuolu’s submission made impressive contributions in the area of management of severe malaria and monitoring of molecular markers of artemisinin resistance. The applicant was the Principal investigator of the Nigerian arm of the international study that provided the high-quality evidence that was used by the WHO for change of the drug of choice for the treatment of severe malaria from parenteral quinine to injectable artesunate. The detection of molecular markers of resistance to any chemotherapeutic drug provides the earliest evidence of emerging resistance before manifestation of clinical failure.
- Improving Home and Community Management of Malaria: Providing the Evidence Base by Ikeoluwapo Ajayi, Ayodele Jegede & Bidemi Yusuf
The groups’ entry was recommended because of its contribution to malaria control at the very important level of community. The submission consists of many publications which systematically evaluated and demonstrated the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) - the ACT of choice in Nigeria for home management of malaria as deployed in the studies. They further evaluated the new WHO policy of parasite-based diagnosis of malaria in the community and showed that community medicine distributors successfully learnt and performed finger pricks for malaria rapid diagnostic test, blood films and interpreted the RDT cassettes correctly, thus facilitating appropriate diagnosis and treatment at community level to reduce morbidity and mortality from malaria.