By Jessica Dogo
Abuja – The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) is seeking for engagement with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on online health database.
The Director General, NIPRD, Dr Obi Adigwe, made this known when he visited the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, at the commission’s headquarters on Thursday in Abuja.
Adigwe said that the organisation wanted specific collaboration and partnership that would ensure promotion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), innovation and investment to ensure maximum optimisation and usage.
He said that NIPRD would like to collaborate with NCC, on development of online data base of relevant research, research database, engagement with people in telecommunication sector and institutional ICT infrastructural support.
“The first is the development of online database of relevant research in Nigeria.
“It is a waste of energy for different reasearchers and experts to be working on the same project.
“We seek specific collaboration and partnership facilitation in project that will ensure ICT innovation and investment is promoted to ensure maximum optimization and usage.
“We need a research database freely accessible by researchers so that people know who are working in what area.
“There are functionalities in the database that will enable people who are interested in that area to see the key actors and people who want to invest.
“The fourth one is institutional ICT infrastructural support. The support from NCC in terms of installing a robust ICT infrastructure like internet server that will greatly increase access to the staff of the institute,” he said.
Responding, Danbatta said the commission had invested heavily in ICT intervention in schools and organisations, saying that it had budgetry constraints at the moment as the finance meant for such projects had been effectively utilised.
The executive vice chairman advised the guests to generate a short code, which people can call and get desired information, adding that the NCC would gladly give it a short code to entertain enquires from the public.
“You can activate this shortcode and then be entertaining enquiries from the public.
“Give it publicity that you now have a shortcode and you will be happy to be providing information to people.
“We have our own toll free number too 622 and we encourage our consumers to use this toll free number to lodge complaints and we monitor our resolution mechanism and what we see very impressive.
“A lot of consumers lodge their complaints using this toll free number and their complaints get results either with the NCC or in conjunction with the operators.
“Most of these complaints are on quality of service and we can see instances where they were being short changed by operators and so on and so forth,” he said.
The Director of Public Affairs, Dr Henry Nkemadu Ikemadu, adviced the guests to align with Nigerian Universities Commission’s (NUC) research body to help NIPRD to create a database.
Nkemadu, however, urged them to work with the ministry of health for effective dissimination of health related information on emergency medical treatment.
“I don’t know if you are also working with the Ministry of Health directly, they have a committee now on emergency medical treatment,” he said.