The 2022 MPox (monkeypox) pandemic has brought a Nigerian and West/Central African endemic disease to global attention. As a result, new international collaborations were created and scientists across the world began to work towards a better understanding of mpox and its impact on all populations. While the global outbreak outside Africa largely affected men who have sex with men, in African countries, children and pregnant women are at particular risk. The European Union-funded VERDI Consortium comprises nearly 30 teams of researchers from 16 countries in Europe, Africa, North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia (https://verdiproject.org/consortium/).
Given its track record of impactful infectious disease research, the International Research Centre of Excellence (IRCE) at the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) was invited to join the VERDI consortium in 2022.
IRCE-IHVN has a VERDI sub-award to contribute Nigerian data to a global pediatric mpox registry, conduct qualitative studies on mpox in the Nigerian context, and to develop research tools and a master protocol for an observational study of mpox among pregnant women in Nigeria.
This study seeks to preempt future infectious disease outbreaks by consolidating pandemic preparedness measures. The VERDI country Principal Investigator for Nigeria is Dr. Nadia A. Sam-Agudu, Senior Research Faculty at the International Research Centre of Excellence at the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria. Other members of the VERDI Nigeria team, include Chinye Osa-Afiana, Chibueze Adirieje, Esekwe Amadosi, Karima Yusufu, Adeyosola Adetunji, and Ifeoluwa Afolabi.