Advocacy for Scientific and Technological Progress
As several regions of the world experience an era of feverish scientific discovery and exploration, novel cures, treatments and knowledge about several diseases have emerged. However, it seems that Nigeria, in specific, and Africa, in general, are yet to enter this phase. This slow pace of scientific inquiry is particularly detrimental considering the gravity of the diseases, which affect these regions of the world.
Through advocacy for scientific and technological progress, the Healthy Life for All Foundation (HLF) is poised to make significant contributions to treating and understanding the diseases which primarily plague the Nigerian and African populace.
Malaria and HIV/AIDS independently pose a great threat to the livelihoods of Nigerians and Africans. Even deadlier is the co-infection of these two endemic diseases which occurs frequently. The mechanisms and effects of co-infection must be elucidated in order to better manage these illnesses and to create therapies targeted against this phenomenon. By encouraging scientific investigations in this area, HLF is actively working to achieve these goals.
Nigeria and Africa also stand to benefit from HLF’s efforts in sickle cell disease. Although there is significant awareness about the disease, effective treatments and support for those living with the disease are scarce. HLF aims to identify affordable therapies for affected individuals living in resource-poor nations such as Nigeria. Moreover, the establishment of HLF support groups for those living with sickle cell disease and their families would provide much needed support and information.
HLF also seeks to clarify the environmental and genetic factors involved in asthma. The answers to this puzzle will explain differences between asthma’s manifestation in Africans versus its manifestation in Americans, Europeans or other populations. Furthermore, this newfound knowledge could potentially provide means of mitigating or preventing this chronic respiratory illness. In Nigeria, HLF has already impacted the treatment of breast cancer.
With the advent of the immunohistochemistry lab in the University College Hospital, Ibadan, physicians throughout Nigeria are now able to determine the estrogen and progesterone receptor status as well as the HER-2/neu status of their breast cancer patients. These factors are proven predictors of a patient’s prognosis and response to treatment. Armed with this information, physicians can better select treatment regimens.
In addition, HLF will conduct scientific investigations coupled to clinical trials beginning with the chemotherapeutic agent, Xeloda (capecitabine.) They may uncover more affordable and effective drugs for treating breast cancers seen in Nigerian and African women. More importantly, these trials will set a precedent for future studies in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.
Scientific inquiry is integral to comprehending diseases and developing effective means of counteracting ailments. As an advocate for scientific progress, HLF is in a position to positively affect the trajectories of diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, asthma and breast cancer in Nigerians and ultimately in Africans. HLF’s initiatives will introduce better understanding of illnesses, innovative cures and therapies as well as crucial support systems for individuals living with a disease.
In order to preserve lives, the African continent can no longer afford to lag behind scientifically and technologically. With HLF as the pacesetter, Africa is rightfully headed toward a period of scientific renaissance and significant breakthroughs in the management of these diseases.