By Kemi Akintokun
Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), has said that U.S. decision to cut funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO) would have great implication on the fight against COVID-19.
Salako made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He said the decision would have great consequence on African countries and other regions who depended on the organisation’s assistance at this critical moment.
The U. S. President, Donald Trump, during his daily press briefing on coronavirus on April 14, announced that the country would halt funding to WHO.
Trump accused the organisation of severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus.
Salako said: “The World Health Organisation is at the forefront of disease control and the body has been offering technical and financial assistance to countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These assistance is very important to African countries in the ongoing war against the virus.
“Most African countries don’t have money to manage their affairs not to talk about pandemic like this.
“Trump’s decision is going to have great consequence to Africa and other regions of the world where they depend on WHO assistance to fight this virus”.
Meanwhile, Salako said the institution had sequenced two cases of COVID-19 and deposited the genes in the GeneBank.
“As part of our research work on coronavirus, we were able to look at the composition of the virus genomically.
“We compared it with the first virus and confirmed that it is the same virus.
“There is a whole lot of research that we can carry out on COVID-19 but we lack the funds needed to carry out this research, ” he said.