The Vice-Chancellor of the Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Prof. Chinedum Babalola, on Wednesday called for increased efforts at promoting women and girls in science.
Babalola, who on Feb. 10 received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah award for scientific excellence, made the appeal at a news conference in Abeokuta.
She stressed the need for the Nigerian society to tackle gender stereotypes in the field of science for the nation to move to an enviable heights.
The vice chancellor therefore urged the Federal Government to step up measures at easing girls’ access to science education and promoting careers of women scientists and researchers,
“I am passionate about women empowerment because when the chips are down, women bear a lot burden in the family.
“Many times, the mindset of we Nigerians is to allow women to take the lesser or the less demanding profession.
“You find many women in humanities professions and they are not usually at the boardrooms or at the decision making levels.
“We need to promote the participation of girls and women in science because they can solve problems that affect both men and women,” she said.
Babalola also stressed the need for government to inject more funds into medical researches for early detection of diseases and development of drugs to cure them.
“Nigeria needs to inject money to ensure that scientists are working round the clock to test different viruses so that if one comes up, we can easily detect it.
“Pharmaceutical scientists need to constantly study the genetics of diseases and through the study of the properties or their agents, develop medicines, molecules that can also kill or cure them.
“We should go beyond diagnoses, we should also empower medical centres to be able to discover, design and develop drugs.
“We have a lot of research institutes in the country like the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research that should be properly funded.
“We should not wait until breakout of epidemics or emergency situations before we begin to think of disease control,” she said.