It is reported that Africa is sitting on a goldmine for world’s most needed medical solutions in the form of natural cures and pharmacies.
Africa’s biodiversity could be a major resource for developing pharmaceuticals to treat prevalent diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. While the region boasts a wealth of traditional medicines, which are commonly used on the continent, most of the local research are yet to translate into modern medicinal products.
One of the major reasons why the research are yet to bear fruits is inadequate financing and infrastructure to tackle the disease burden , not to mention the limited access to technological platforms needed for drug research.
But this might change soon. In a rural community in Anambra state called Umuchukwu, in Orumba south local government area, Nigeria, a skyscraper is sprouting. The 15-storey building project, which is about 80 percent complete, will be equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities in medical science.
Once completed, the high-rise building, will be used as grounds for medical training for students, and provide resource materials for lecturers and researchers. Local media reports indicate that the building will also serve as the temporary site for the Anambra state University, College of Medicine .
All these great work is thanks to the efforts of Dr Godwin Maduka, the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of the Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Centre, the largest pain treatment center in Nevada, USA, who is funding the whole project. The rural community is set to become the hub of medical research in the country and African continent.
According to the legal adviser to Dr Maduka, Ray Onyegu, Umuchukwu will soon transform into a university town. He expressed optimism that the Medical Research Centre would water the ground for a private university that would raise the bar in medical education and healthcare in the country.
Describing Dr Maduka as a philanthropist, driven by the passion for transforming the rural Umuchukwu community to a modern city, Onyegu noted that “his (Maduka) interest is in the area of preventive health” and “he wants to establish a university that would have a strong presence in preventive health.”
The Review Journal quoted the 51- year old naturalized American citizen as saying that he wants to do everything to transform the community he hailed from.
“I am living the American dream,” the owner of the Las Vegas Pain Institute & Medical Center said. “And I'm doing all I can through philanthropy to help the people where I came from to live a better life.”
According to the Sun, the ongoing Umuchukwu Medical Research Centre, when completed, would be modeled after the Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Centre, the largest and most comprehensive pain treatment practice group in Nevada, USA. The facility in the USA is widely respected as the premier, one-stop destination for pain treatment and relief, where teams of experts in pain medicine, physical therapy, radiology, and wellness work together to decrease pain using the latest technologies and research.
Apart from the upcoming medical facility, Maduka is credited for other philanthropic acts including construction of a school complex, town hall, hospital, church and residence for priests. He has also contributed to development activities such as electricity, water, the internet, and road.
Vincent Ottaokpukpu, a lawyer in the town of 2,000 people, told the Review Journal that “most people love and respect him [Maduka] here.”