Covenant University Public Health & Wellbeing Research Cluster

Covenant University Public Health & Well-Being Research Cluster (CUPHWERC) is a multi-disciplinary research group involved in public health-related research, advocacy, and intervention with an overall goal of improving the quality of life of local people and communities. The group is committed to raising the health and living standards of the people through life-applicable researches, medical outreaches, public enlightenment, surveillance, disease prevention and control. CUPHWERC has assisted local health authorities and Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) to improve healthcare delivery services, and aided significant decrease in morbidity and mortality through improved nutrition, child and maternal care, sanitation and hygiene in several local communities. The cluster is also involved in consultative and collaborative activities with many health agencies, food, drug and cosmetic industries – go to sideeffects.com.

The Covenant University Public Health & Well-being Research Cluster evolved from a study on PHCs and healthcare delivery in Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State, Nigeria conducted by Prof. S.N. Chinedu and Dr. D.E. Azuh in 2009. The research findings, which painted a gloomy picture of the health facilities in the local government area, necessitated further study on ways to alleviate the obvious challenges in the healthcare delivery of PHCs. Consequently, a meeting of like-minded researchers was convened on March 11, 2010 at the Biochemistry Teaching Laboratory. Successive meetings attracted more participants, and the idea to couple research with practical medical services led to reaching out to core medical professionals in the University’s Medical Centre. Today, the research group has over 30 committed members from diverse disciplines across Humanities, Sciences and Engineering fields. In 2015, the Management of Covenant University recognised CUPHWERC as a vibrant research cluster in the University.

To be a leading research platform committed to raising the living standard of the Blackman and impacting humanity through vibrant, life-applicable research and services in the area of public health and community well-being.

  • To create a proactive and active platform for solution-based research on public health issues and people’s well-being.
  • To employ interdisciplinary research approach in tackling public health issues confronting rural and urban communities.
  • To use research findings on public health and well-being to the benefit of communities in Africa and humanity.
  • To promote capacity building and community development in the area of public health.
  • To support the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on healthcare.
  • To stimulate interdisciplinary research in public health related issues.
  • To foster a deeper understanding of public health challenges with the view of proffering effective solutions.
  • To attract funding for community development through public health-related
  • To improve the health and general well-being of communities through effective interventions in public health challenges.
  • To provide a forum for collaboration between Covenant University and relevant organisations for community development.
  • To impact communities through enlightenment, training and services on health-related issues.
  • To develop products relevant to good health and well-being.

The Leader of the Covenant University Public Health & Well-being Research Cluster is Shalom N. Chinedu, a Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry, College of Science and Technology. Dominic E. Azuh, an Associate Professor of Demography and Social Statistics in the Department of Economics and Development Studies, College of Business and Social Sciences, serves as the Secretary.

There are ten (10) functional sub-clusters of Covenant University Public Health & Well-being Research Cluster, each carrying out research activities in specific health-related areas. Every member of CUPHWERC belongs to one or more of the sub-clusters, depending on his/her research interest. The sub-clusters are led by eminent Professors of Covenant University as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Sub-Clusters of the Covenant University Public Health & Well-Being Research Cluster and their Leaders

S/N Name of Sub-Cluster Leader Rank Programme
1. Obesity, Metabolic Disorders & Neglected Tropical Diseases Prof. S.N. Chinedu Professor Biochemistry
2. PHCs; Maternal, Neonatal & Child Health Dr. D.E. Azuh Assoc. Prof. Demography & Social Statistics
3. Cancer Prevention Research Prof. E.E.J. Iweala Professor Biochemistry
4. Infectious Diseases & Malaria Research Dr. G. I. Olasehinde Assoc. Prof. Microbiology
5. Food, Nutrition & Preventive Medicine Prof. I.S. Afolabi Professor Biochemistry
6. Built Environment & Health-Associated Challenges Dr. A.N. Ede Assoc. Prof. Civil Engineering
7. Medicinal plants and drug discovery Prof. J. Olugbuyiro Professor Industrial Chemistry
8. Plant Pathology and Food Security Dr. O.A. Eni Assoc. Prof. Microbiology
9. Pollution and Toxicology Prof. E.N. Maduagwu Professor Biochemistry
10. Marine Biogeochemistry Research Prof. N. Benson Professor Industrial Chemistry

Membership of Covenant University Public Health & Well-being Research Cluster cuts across the Medical Centre (CUMC) and three Colleges in Covenant University – the College of Science and Technology (CST), the College of Business and Social Sciences (CBSS) and the College of Engineering (CoE). Thirty-two (32) researchers from diverse disciplines, including medical fields, natural, applied and social sciences, architecture and engineering are registered members of the cluster (Table 2).

Table 2: List of Covenant University Public Health & Well-being Research Cluster members

 S/N Name Rank Programme Department College
1. Prof. S.N. Chinedu Professor Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
2. Prof. E.E.J. Iweala Professor Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
3. Prof. I.S. Afolabi Professor Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
4. Prof. E.N. Maduagwu Professor Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
5. Prof. A.H. Adebayo Professor Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
6. Prof. O.O. Ogunlana Professor Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
7. Prof. J Olugbuyiro Professor Industrial Chemistry Chemistry CST
8. Prof. N. Benson Professor Industrial Chemistry Chemistry CST
9. Prof. A.B. Williams Professor Industrial Chemistry Chemistry CST
10. Prof. O.O. Ajani Professor Industrial Chemistry Chemistry CST
11. Prof. V.C. Osamor Professor Computer Science Comp. & Info Sciences CST
12. Dr. M. Onuoha Ex-Ag. CMO* Medicine (Physician) Medical Centre CUMC
13. Dr. E. Idachaba Ex-Ag. CMO* Medicine (Physician) Medical Centre CUMC
14. Dr. D.E. Azuh Assoc. Prof Demography & Social Statistics Economics & Development studies CBSS
15. Dr. G.I. Olasehinde Assoc. Prof Microbiology Biological Sciences CST
16. Dr. O.A. Eni Assoc. Prof Microbiology Biological Sciences CST
17. Dr. A.N. Ede Assoc. Prof Civil Engineering Civil Engineering CoE
18. Dr. R. Mordi Assoc. Prof Industrial Chemistry Chemistry CST
19. Dr. S.O. Rotimi Snr. Lecturer Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
20. Dr. O.O. Ayepola Snr. Lecturer Microbiology Biological Sciences CST
21. Mrs. G. N. Joshua CNO+ Nursing Medical Centre CUMC
22. Mrs. S. A. Abegunde PNO++ Nursing Medical Centre CUMC
23. Dr. O.N.E. Ekhaese Lecturer 1 Architecture Architecture CST
24. Dr. O.E. Omotosho Lecturer 1 Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
24. Dr. T. Dokumu Lecturer 1 Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
25. Dr. O.A. Rotimi Lecturer 2 Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
26. Ms. Angie Adebayo Lecturer 2 Mass Communication Mass Communication CBSS
27. Mrs. W.O. Iyanda-Joel A/L Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
28 Mrs. T.D. Bisi-Adeniyi A/L Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
29. Ms. O.F. Yakubu A/L Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
30. Ms. O.C. Emiloju A/L Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
31. Mr. F.N. Iheagwam A/L Biochemistry Biochemistry CST
32. Mr. I. B. Adelani A/L Biochemistry Biochemistry CST

*CMO = Chief medical Officer; CNO+ = Chief Nursing Officer; PNO++ = Principal Nursing Officer.

“To Tackle the Double Burden of Infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases, and Food Insecurity in Africa through Research, Advocacy, and Intervention.”

The research agenda is hinged on the Sustainable Development Goals Nos. 2 and 3.

SDG Goal 2: Zero Hunger:

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

SDG Goal 3: Good health and Well-being for the people:

“Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages”

It is also in line with the African Aspiration for 2063 (No. 1:)

A Prosperous Africa, based on inclusive growth and sustainable development

The specific research agenda of the research cluster are as follows:

Obesity, Metabolic Disorders and Neglected Tropical Diseases

  1. Focus: Studies on Selected Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases in African Local Communities.
  2. Ongoing Research:
  • Tuberculosis – Research on African medicinal plants for the treatment of tuberculosis;
  • Sickle Cell Anaemia – Research on plants for the reduction of crisis associated with Sickle Cell Anaemia;
  • Multidrug resistance – Research on local plants that revert the bacteria resistant to antibiotics back to susceptible strains;
  • Metabolic disorders – Assessing the risk factors of metabolic syndrome – diabetes, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

Primary health care (PHC), maternal, neonatal and child health

  1. Focus: Research, Advocacy, Intervention: Determining factors in the survival of mothers and children
  2. Ongoing Research:
  • Assessment of PHC facilities, water, sanitation and hygiene;
  • Determinants of infants and child morbidity and mortality;
  • Maternal mortality and survival.
  1. Oncology/Cancer Etiology and Prevention
  • Focus: Cancer prevention research
  • Ongoing Research:
  •       Prostate cancer in black men of African descent;
  •       Breast cancer amongst Nigerian women
  1. Plant pathology and Food security:
  • Focus: Plant viruses and food security: Diseases affecting African root crops
  • Ongoing Research:
  • The cluster is looking at addressing plant disease, which leads to poor yield and low food production.
  • West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) project – Study on cassava virus in southwest and north-central Nigeria.

Food, nutrition and preventive medicine

  • Focus: Use of Food and Medicinal plants for health and disease prevention

Malaria, Fever, and other infectious diseases

  • Focus: Fevers, malaria and parasitic diseases

Built Environment and Health.

  • Focus: Buildings and Biological agents affecting human and animal health

Pollution and Toxicology

  • Focus: Environmental pollution and Toxicological studies

Medicinal plant and drug discovery

  • Focus: Drug/food formulation for commercialization.

Marine Biogeochemistry Research

  • Focus: Ocean/water pollution and monitoring
  • A.O. Eni (PI): Research Grant: West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) for root and tuber crops. Project OPP1082413), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), 2015 – 2017.
  • S.N. Chinedu (PI): Research grant: Thaumatococus danielli (Benn.) Benth: Biosystematic Studies for Optimized Production of Thaumatin and Valuable By-Products (CUCRID RG 007.11.141FS), 2015 –2018.
  • The long-term goal is to optimize the production of thaumatin, a protein sweetener, from Thaumatococus danielli Benth to be used as dietary supplement for patients suffering from NCDs such as cancers and diabetes.
  • D.E. Azuh (PI)/Prof. S.N. Chinedu (Co-PI): Research Grant: Determinants of Child Morbidity and Survival in Ogun State, South West Nigeria. (CUCRID RG 029.03.15FS), 2016 – 2017.
  • Dr. S.O. Rotimi (PI): Analysis of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms of CYP3A4 in Nigerian Prostate Cancer Patients. CaPTC/University of Florida, Pilot Funding, 2015-2016.
  • A.H. Adebayo: Award of Research Equipment/facilitated the establishment of Phytochemistry Laboratory in Covenant University.
  • A.O. Eni: WAVE Award and Establishment of Screen House, Molecular Biology/Virology Laboratory in Covenant University.
  • S.N. Chinedu/Dr. D.E. Azuh: Facilitated the establishment of cold chain for vaccine storage and ice baking in Covenant University.
  • EEJ Iweala:
  • Biochemical Society General Travel Award to attend the 1st Biochemical Society and Against Breast Cancer Glyco Oncology Workshop, New College, Oxford, UK, 2017.
  • CaPTC Travel award to attend the 4rd Science of Global Prostate Cancer Disparities (SGCaPD) Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA, 2016.
  • AACR African Cancer Researchers Travel Award to attend the 107th American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 2016.
  • O.A. Eni: AWARD Fellowship, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). 2015 –2016.

E-Government and E-Business Research Cluster

List of Cluster Members