Another Illustrious Son Breaks Through The Scientific Glass Ceiling -As Shobayo Illuminates Liberia’s Image In Globally Honored Orbit (Part 1)

When the biblical question was asked long ago; can anything good come from Nazareth, most God-fearing people, cognizant of the spiritual power imbued therein with uniqueness beyond human’s imagination and comprehension, worth, value and virtue of the supremacy of the Almighty God, made it vividly known with positive surety; despite the harbored insignificant notion about Nazareth by most God-skeptic people; the faithful believers alluded to the spiritual reality that Indeed, Jesus Christ came from Nazareth.

In similar vein, many people, from the strike of any imagination are gushing out such question, that with Liberia being the oldest Independent Republic in Africa with 174 years to her credit of existence, and are convinced that nothing tangible that is globally acclaimed to show; conversely, this nation has individuals with envious innovative and profoundly competitive brains to produce credible results for the utilization in several disciplines with cardinal emphasis on wide range of research engagements, science and technology.

In view of the above mentioned, another illustrious son and Scientist, Deputy Director for Research at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL). Scientist Bode Ireti Shobayo has broken through the scientific glass ceiling, and based on his credible and innovative hard worked and commitment to his vocation, and gallantly being on the front line in the fray of rescuing and keeping the country and people safe from medical challenges including COVID-19 and the new variant, has now, and is expanding in the scientific community, wherein, Liberia now continues to progressively glow, while intensifying its presence on the global scene.

In an exclusive interview with the PARROT on Thursday, August 26, 2021 in Monrovia, Scientist and Director for Research Shobayo noted that to accumulate the status as scientist, one must be well-schooled with masters and/or a Ph.D backed by vast experience (practical) in some of the sciences coupled with consistent and persistent research  activities.

According to him, the workings of the scientists are also tied to conducting tests to enable them accurately diagnose the cause and effect that could lead to such problem, and when the cause is established then remedy in term of vaccines or any prompt medication can be applied to alleviate the prevailing health crunch.

He pointed out that most health problems come with similar symptom and the proper way to determine which one of the illness is the actual cause of the prevailing problem despite reflecting similar symptom, is to run series of tests involving health problems that shared common symptom.

For example, he added, malaria, fever, cold and typhoid all have similar symptom in the initial stage which starts with fever, and the best way out is to run a test one by one on each of the problems, as each will show negative  until the one that will result into positive,  which will then become the actual cause of the problem, instead of treating the problem based on mere symptom without firstly conducting a test in the laboratory; and besides just buying pills (tablets) or any medication from the drug store without first doing a test, could end up one treating a health problem with the opposite medication.

Deputy Director for Research at NPHIL, Shobayo stated that when that move is done, one could find out that either the problem is a virus and the applied medication is for bacterial vise visa, thereby arming the latter’s immune system with the wrong treatment, and when such problem takes center-space (discovered), obviously it (drug) will not work because the immune system is being built adequately to thwart the usefulness of he applied medication.

The young Liberian Scientist expressed profound gratitude to the government through the current leadership of Director General of NPHIL, Madam Jane MaCcauley and Health Minister, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah for affording him the opportunity to acquire such an advanced knowledge and exposure.

He also commended Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah for initially appointing him as Deputy Director for Research at NPHIL. Accordingly, the Deputy Director Shobayo  also extolled a renowned Virologist and Director Center for Infection and Immunity, Mr. Ian Lipkin, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York for being so instrumental in ensuring that the acquired knowledge is praiseworthy.

NPHIL’s Deputy Director for Research disclosed that his greatest dream is to ensure that an entity equipped with the requisite facilities and the most needed technology to enhance all research activities and cope with health challenges on the home front, and not always rely wholly and solely on countries abroad rather networking with them, is paramount, once such entity  can be established in the country that will promptly engage health obstacles, and at the same time, cater to the breeding of many young Liberian scientists in several branches of science from a home-based establishment, will be his greatest complement.

He stressed that his profound passion is to teach, prepare and nurture the young folks to excel in the broad field of science including the segments of biology wherein they too can become succeeding scientists of Liberia and stamping their widely acclaimed progressive and productive imprints on the global image. He explains that the Coronavirus pandemic, from the onset hits the country much harder, and then after the adopted health protocols, followed by immense, vigorous and careful observation as the rate went down, and so the tough health experts had to study the why and the effect for the up and down of the raging pandemic, and began to work seriously to keep up the trend of ensuring that the downward pattern continues before the arrival of the AstraZeneca and later the Johnson &Johnson vaccines; the COVID-19 pandemic warriors were then gradually knowing about  it (pandemic).

Excerpt from Shobayo’s states that he is a medical and public health research scientist with capabilities in both management and implementation of research as it relates to infectious diseases.

He has played leadership roles in creating, conducting, communicating and coordinating public health and medical/clinical research projects in addition to technical laboratory response roles played during the Ebola and ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Deputy Director for Research noted that he has served as a research and laboratory scientist on several projects ranging from Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to pathogen discovery. ‘I also have appreciable leadership experience which I have acquired while serving as the Deputy Director for Research at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL).”

“In this position, I have been involved with coordinating and providing leadership to a team research scientists in various fields related to emerging pathogens and common diseases affecting Liberia. My work also involves identifying opportunities for research funding and partnerships and co-facilitating research partners’ coordination”, he maintains.

Concluding, “I had been involved with planning and                      participation of the Celebrate Lab West Africa and the Emma Dennis National Scientific Conferences since 2018. I continue to contribute my expertise to medical and public health and research in Liberia.”

 

When asked about his assessment of the accomplished Liberian Scientist and Dr. Chris Dougbeh Nyan and that his worth not being utilized by Liberia, Scientist Shobayo expressed great admiration for Dr. Nyan and the wonderful achievement, and pointed out that he had attending some of his lecture series and earned a lot from him. He said that it will be in the cardinal interest of the country to make use of his rich and powerful brains in the fight against the pandemic along with unique experience in different forms and could discourage the scourge of brain-drain, while other nations gain a lot from such gift to Liberia.

It can be recalled that Scientist Dougbeh Chris Nyan volunteered his efforts and commitments to vigorously join in the fight using his own medical expertise against the dreadful COVID-19 pandemic was cold shouldered by the government.

Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan’s request to join in the fight against the global enemy, is not only a demon-driven-imposed crisis on the already vulnerable people of Liberia, but a total wickedness to their survivability by the reluctance shown by the political leaders who chant day and night about how much they love the people and care so much about their health and wellbeing.

Who is grotesquely championing the demonstrated satanic mentality of bottleneck at the Executive Mansion when the threat of Coronavirus is dreadfully deadly and real which requires collective involvement of all its citizens especially those with medical expertise including friendly peoples and countries to quell its infestation, now chronically depopulating the world’s human resource reservoir.

Here is a vivid and shocking case in point. Imagine, most privileged Liberians upon the slightest pain or fever, are well on their way to Ghana for treatment because of the poor shape and very badly challenged health facilities, compounded with vicious odds plaguing all the nation’s healthcare facilitates; paradoxically, the very Ghana so trusted medically by most Liberians, hosted a fantastic health meeting with Dr. Nyan being invited to speak at that auspicious occasion.

In communication addressed to Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel F. McGill dated on April 25, 2021 from Dr. Nyan, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer (CMSO) Laboratory of Emerging Pathogens Dept. of Molecular pathogens Diagnostics, Shufflex Biomed, LDC (USA-LIB-RW); a volunteering offer was made without any response from the Minister up to present.

But before Minister McGill was forwarded copy of such communication dated April 25, 2021, President George M. Weah was earlier communicated to (with same content) which was dated April 7, 2021. The communication stated “accept my profound compliment as we collectively work to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic around the world. Since the outbreak of the SARS-COV-2 in December 2019, the entire world has been confronted with numerous challenges that are material and human in nature,”

The communication continues: “This has generated the need to mobilize the requisite human expertise and material resources that will enable our countries to successfully defeat the Pandemic. At this stage of the Pandemic response, I humbly submit to volunteering my expertise in helping with the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme in Liberia”.

Concluding, the Liberian Scientist added: “I will be in West Africa around 20th April 2021 to speak at 7th  Celebrate LAB meeting 2021 to be held In Accra, Ghana; here, medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Doctors and other healthcare professionals will be gathering. I will appreciate your response to my Volunteering offer so that I can properly arrange my travel to Liberia after the Accra meeting and determine the duration of my stay in Liberia. I look forward to hearing from you soon”.

Is Dr. Nyan’s professional Volunteering offer to help those at home battle COVID-19 in Liberia which is most needed by the people and by extension, the country, inimical to the health need of the citizens that the Executive Mansion is blatantly rejecting Dr. Nyan’s Volunteering offer which is very troubling?

-Writes GDJ

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