An Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr. Abdullahi Olokoba, has been awarded the Astra Zeneca Research Grant, worth about N5million.
Olokoba told newsmen on Tuesday in Ilorin that the grant would help to advance research in the study of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD, also known as heart burn).
According to him, the research will be conducted with a team of scholars across departments of medicine from Nigerian University Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres.
The scientist clinched the grant following the submission of a proposal entitled “Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease in Nigeria: A Population-Based Study”.
According to Olokoba, the research is necessary because the prevalence of GERD in Africa is not clearly known.
He explained that the continent was conspicuously missing in the global map of GERD, which was known to affect between 10 and 20 percent of the population in western countries.
Olokoba, also the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Kwara State General Hospital, Ilorin, described GERD as the clinical condition that develops when gastric contents find their way into the oesophagus.
“This causes troublesome symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation or complications such as Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma that can require surgical intervention,” he said.