CERHI, University of Benin Gets the Seeding Labs 2020 Instrumental Access Award

The Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI), University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria is one of 18 awardees to receive equipment that will build scientific infrastructure to advance research and teaching from the 2020 Seeding Labs Instrumental Access.

CERHI greatly appreciates the management and staff of University of Benin, led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Lilian I. Salami, for the excellent support the Centre has received. The uncanny leadership of the CERHI Centre Leader, Professor Friday Okonofua, who was in the fore-front of the 2020 Instrumental Access award, is also highly appreciated.

Seeding Labs connects scientists in developing nations….

Seeding Labs is a Boston-based nonprofit empowering every scientist to transform the world. Through a coalition of more than 140 public and private sector partners, Seeding Labs connects scientists in developing nations with lab equipment, training, and opportunities to collaborate with experts in their field—and to use these vital resources to improve education, research, and economic development.

To date, Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program has shipped 255 tons of lab equipment to 80 institutions in 36 developing countries worldwide. Its TeleScience platform, viewed in more than 130 countries, offers a video library of lab tips and tricks to share scientific expertise remotely. Additional information about Seeding Labs is available at https://seedinglabs.org

University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City, Nigeria was established in 1971; it is the 6th  out of the existing 174 Universities in Nigeria (43 of which is federally funded). Apart from several institutes, centres, and units; UNIBEN currently has 14 Faculties and over 100 departments.

“The Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation (CERHI), is a World Bank supported African Centre of Excellence in the University of Benin. It was established in 2015 to build capacity for implementing high quality training and applied research in reproductive health. CERHI offers Masters, and PhD programmes in public health, nursing, reproductive health, and health economics. The Centre is accredited by the Agency for Public Health Education on Accreditation (APHEA), Belgium and the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES), France.”

The journey of the award started in 2018 when the CERHI Centre Leader (Prof. Friday Okonofua) asked Prof. Akhere Omonkhua, the Chairman of the CERHI Medical and Research Laboratory (CMARL) Committee, to write the proposal for the 2020 Instrumental Access. The application was based on the activities of CMARL. CERHI, through the CERHI Medical and Research Laboratory (CMARL), champions multidisciplinary laboratory research that seeks not only to serve the relevant academic programmes of CERHI but also related disciplines in the wider University community. The Centre currently collaborates with several departments in the Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Pharmacy in multidisciplinary research. Indeed, the two proposals that were included in the application for the Seeding Labs 2020 Instrumental Access are part of the multidisciplinary teams set up by CMARL. The laboratory equipment donated by Seeding Labs will greatly enhance the laboratory facilities of CMARL which will ultimately contribute to improving the quality of research in the University

“The application for 2020 Instrumental Access was a perfect example of team work that CERHI exemplifies. The application was initiated and driven by the CERHI Centre Leader, Prof. Friday Okonofua; the writing of application was led by the Chairman of CMARL Committee, Prof. Akhere Omonkhua with excellent contributions from Dr. Enitome Bafor, an associate member of CERHI; while the heads of departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and Community/Public Health, Drs James Osaikhuwuomwan and Vincent Adam supported the application with letters.”

Although CERHI Medical and Research Laboratory already has a decent array of laboratory equipment; the high tech equipment requested from the Seeding Labs Instrumental Access would move research in CERHI and indeed the rest of the University of Benin to the next level.

Most organizations give fellowships and scholarships for students to go to advanced laboratories to do good research, while this is very commendable; what seeding labs is doing is unique, as it makes these equipment available locally. This makes it possible for the majority of budding researchers in low and middle income countries to do very excellent research in their home country. We are thus grateful to Seeding Labs for this collaboration to improve the quality of our science in our own environment!

Story by:

Prof. Akhere Omonkhua, Project Coordinator, CERHI, UNIBEN

Mr. Osayomore Ogbemudia, Webmaster, CERHI, UNIBEN

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