Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
Fellowship Site Directors: Alash’le Abimiku
Site Contact: Alash’le Abimiku, firstname.lastname@example.org
- HIV, TB, malaria, emerging infectious diseases, NCD, and cancer.
- Populations – adolescents and young women, Mothers, neonates, and children, men, sexual and gender minorities.
- Health Systems, Laboratory, implementation, and dissemination
Institute Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) is an indigenous NGO originally established in 2004 as an affiliate of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore (IHV-UMB), but grew into a fully-fledged indigenous NGO in 2010 with its own Board of Directors. It has two key centers: Center for Public Health Implementation, and the International Research Center of Excellence with combined close to 500 faculty and staff strength. The Center for Public Health Implementation through collaborations with tertiary and secondary hospitals supports over 450,000 HIV positive persons on ART under the US PEPFAR program; and provides TB treatment for another 50,000 under the Global Fund, and with the advent of COVID-19, supports COVID-19 related services at those health facilities and molecular laboratories. The International Research Center of Excellence supports research activities in HIV, TB, Malaria, Cancer, non-communicable diseases, Lassa Fever, and more recently COVID-19, all supported by state-of-the-art molecular and immunology laboratories, and an ISBER-compliant biorepository with an annual research budget of about US$8m is largely funded by NIH, CDC, EDCTP and supports multi-country clinical trials. The regulatory affairs office which includes an ethics committee registered with the NHREC (the national umbrella body that reviews research proposals and protocols in order to ensure that research conducted by the relevant institution, agency or establishment will promote health, contribute to the prevention of communicable or non-communicable diseases or disability or result in cures for communicable or non- communicable diseases) (NHREC/05/01/2010a) and United States regulatory agencies (FWA FWA00014857). The ethics committee reviews and approves all research studies conducted at the institute and grants approval where research proposals and protocols meet ethical standards. In addition to receiving approval from IHV-Nigeria’s ethics committee, all research protocols and proposals are reviewed by the site-based ethics committee or institutional review board (IRB). Research operations houses trained study coordinators and research administrations oversees grant and contracts and financial compliance.
IHVN currently manages a grant portfolio of almost $60 million annually from a variety of funding agencies including but not limited to NIH, CDC, WHO, Global Fund, IDRC- Canada and UMB. The finances of these awards are managed by a team of well-trained and dedicated certified accountants and finance officers using the robust SAGE ACCPAC ERP software to process, track, and report all transactions including payroll, payables, commitment accounting, and supply chain. IHV-Nigeria financial reports have been successfully audited by world-renowned assurance firms including Price Water House Coopers and Ernst & Young; also, IHVN has consistently scored A1 in all Global Fund programmatic and financial reviews from 2010 to date becoming the only Principal Recipient organization globally to have such a consistent high rating. IHVN has grown into an organization of over 435 faculty and staff members with 95% of the staff Nigerians. The Institute works in collaboration with the Nigerian Government, University Teaching Hospitals, local and international donor organizations, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore to provide excellence in research, care and treatment and training.
Laboratory: The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Human Health and Hereditary (H3) Africa Biorepository (I-HAB) operates at International standards using ISBER guidelines. IHVN network of biobanks are the only biobanks registered and certified by NHREC to operate biobanks. I-HAB has constant power supply, supported by three levels of generators and inverter. The biospecimens and associated data are tracked throughout their life cycle, via a robust customized laboratory information management system Freezerworks 2019 Ascent (FW 2019) that enables automation of workflow processes. I-HAB can easily access liquid nitrogen on short notice while a liquid nitrogen generating plant is planned at IRCE’s new site. The I-HAB biorepository provides full biobanking services from collection, processing, through storage to distribution. The biorepository can support extensive collections: blood derivatives such as buffy coats, sera, plasma, DNA, RNA; urine; breast milk; and swabs.
Clinical: The Institute has a standing agreement with over 500 healthcare facilities (primary, secondary and tertiary) across 30 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory. IHVN through the International Centre of Excellence (IRCE) also has a clinical trials unit (CTU) that was set up in 2017 to support multi-country clinical and vaccine trials as part of global networks. There are 2 trials sites with the infrastructure and personnel to support clinical trials at IRCE (i) The PLASVIREC trial site in Jos, Nigeria and (ii) The Abuja clinical trial site at the IHVN head office. IHVN in addition also has access to several clinical sites in the country through collaboration and partnership. Currently, two of these sites are COVID-19 isolation centers. These sites are the Plateau State Specialist Hospital (PSSH) and the Primary Health Centre (PHC) Filinball, Jos. PPSH is a state government owned 300-bed capacity referral hospital located in the capital of Plateau state, Jos a distance of about 250KM from the Federal Capital Territory. The isolation center for COVID-19 confirmed patients has a capacity of 50 patients and equipped with ventilators. These will be made available to the project if needed at any point during the project implementation.