The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Florence Obi, has offered scholarships to 10 Cameroonian refugees in Cross River.
Mrs Obi announced the scholarships on Tuesday in Calabar shortly after inaugurating the university’s renovated Infectious Disease Research Laboratory.
The laboratory was renovated and handed over to the university by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
The vice-chancellor described the scholarships as one of the ways to support the UNHCR to achieve its mandate of providing succour for refugees.
She commended the agency for donating the research laboratory.
The research laboratory was donated to the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, University of Calabar, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mrs Obi described the refurbishing of the laboratory as a “dream come true” since the university had over the years craved for such a research facility.
“The laboratory will promote medical research. I want to assure the UNHCR that the institution will put the laboratory into good use.
“While we commend the UNHCR for this great feat, we also want to extend our hands of fellowship by giving scholarships to 10 refugees.
“You have solved one of our major problems and the university is ready to also support you in the area of education,” she said.
The vice-chancellor noted that the institution was looking forward to strengthening ties with the UNHCR, and would explore other areas of partnership for mutual benefits.
Earlier, the Head of Sub-office, UNHCR, Ogoja, Tesfaye Bekele, said the COVID-19 pandemic created a global challenge that saw several institutions struggling to find answers to testing and research for treatment.
Mr Bekele said the challenge was the real reason UNHCR renovated and handed over the laboratory to the university.
While pledging UNHCR’s continuous support and partnership with the university, he noted that the gesture was geared toward promoting effective research in the field of medicine generally.
He lauded the vice-chancellor for supporting 10 Cameroonian refugees with tuition-free access to university education.
The Provost of the College of Medical Sciences at the university’s teaching hospital, Victor Ansa, thanked the vice-chancellor for her support for the college, and commended the UNHCR for finding it thoughtful to support research.
In his remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Martins Nnoli, commended the UNHCR for its magnanimity in donating the research laboratory to the university.
The laboratory comprises a reagent preparation room, extraction and amplification/detection rooms, immunology laboratory and mycobacteriology/mycology research laboratory.
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