Over 350 worldwide published articles and researches coordinated by the Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Health Innovation, CERHI, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City, for the benefits of humanity, are now making waves on the global scene.
The studies revolve round Reproductive Health including Gender Based violence, maternal and Child Health as the thematic areas of focus since the World Bank funded project was established in 2014, Prof. Friday Okonofua, the CERHI Centre Leader said.
Okonofua disclosed this in a paper titled, “Breaking new frontiers in research for development in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights” which he presented to journalists at Ugbowo Campus of the University in Benin City.
Funded by World Bank, CERHI, has embarked on advocacy of using the essentials of development in Science of Reproductive Health to interrogate and tackle traditional beliefs and cultural barriers that promote Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against persons especially women in most African societies, according to the professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecologist.
According to him, “We have published not less than 350 papers in high impact journals on various issues relating to Reproductive Health including Gender Based violence, maternal and Child Health”.
He revealed that “despite existing gaps the alarming indicators of maternal mortality in Nigeria and the prevalence of “abuse of women’s rights in Nigeria, UNIBEN CERHI remains focus in implementing high quality and applied research for professionals needed to build a new cohort human resource to tackle the population and reproductive health challenges in the African region.
He also said the Centre has made modest achievements in strengthening the implementation of CERHI programme for increased policy and industry on-the-ground relevance in West and Central Africa in addition to acquisition of up-to-date pedagogical, research and laboratory facilities that compete favourably with some of the best in any part of the world, and has offered excellent training facilities in different programmes in the University of Benin and other Centres.
“Our model is to increase the training of health professional, especially nurses, midwives, doctors, public health experts that are needed to tackle challenges in the entire West and Central Africa region particularly in the rural areas.
“Due to our tenacious strategy, we were able to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic through intense research and service delivery. As the pandemic became evident, we established collaboration with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH to constitute a Covid-19 Research and Service Delivery Team. We lent the real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) of the Centre for use by the UBTH team for the diagnosis of Covid-19 in Edo State.
“All CERHI programmes have received international accreditations, which are rare feats. Apart from the UNIBEN programmes, being accredited by National Universities Commission, NUC, we have also been accredited the agency for Public Health Education based in Belgium and others in France”, Okonofua said.
Head of CERHI Laboratory, UNIBEN, Prof. Akhere Omokhua, led journalists on a guided tour of the facilities and explained the functions of the equipment at the Centre.
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