Kingsley Okoye

Kingsley
Okoye

Scientific Officer/ Researcher
Public Health/ Entomology
Federal Ministry of Health, National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre
Area of expertise: Vector-borne diseases
  • National Government

Biography

The National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre (NAVRC), is an out-post of the Federal Ministry of Health located in Government Reserved Area (GRA), Enugu. The Federal Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) entered into initial Trans-Continental Disease Control (TCDC) agreement owing to epidemic and epizootic outbreaks of arboviral infections in the then Benue/plateau past. This led to the establishment of World Health Organisation Arbovirus vectors Research Unit (WHO/AVRU), in 1973. This is the present National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre, Enugu. The strategic mandates/objectives of NAVRC include: to conduct field disease vector surveillance and control throughout Nigeria; to study the ecology, bionomics, distribution and seasonal variation of disease vectors especially arbovirus vectors; to identify and incriminate principal arbovirus and other disease vectors in Nigeria; to train middle level manpower in field and laboratory and entomology techniques; to conduct bioassay on disease malaria vectors and to screen Nigerian plants to determine their pesticide properties. NAVRC has enough manpower and equipment to eliminate vector-borne diseases, having understood the breeding habitats, the biting indices and transmission potential of the malaria and other arboviral vectors. NAVRC also has a novel achievement in 1992 by establishing the presence of Aedes albopictus (south-eastern Asian mosquito) in Nigeria. NAVRC has also carried out research on the Nigeria bed-net project, a pilot project between 1992 and 1994 at Nsukka and an outdoor aerial spraying of insecticide in Enugu State and played significant roles in the pilot indoor residual spraying in Anambra State in 2009. I am passionate in being among the new breed of Research Entomologists/ Vector Biologists who will take the ailing sector of entomology in the world by the scruff of its neck and give it an enviable look, to combat vector-borne infection and effective pest management. I have been interested in Anopheles mosquito and its arsenals right from my undergraduate days. I just started my doctorate degree in Entomology and Forensic Science in the University of Nigeria. I have Master’s degree in Public Health Parasitology and Bachelor degree in Parasitology and Entomology, Second Class Honours (Upper Divisions), both from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. I have begun my career in Research as Research Entomologist/ Scientific Officer working in Federal Ministry of Health (National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre, Enugu) in Nigeria. I contribute to teaching student on their industrial training in the Centre as well as assisting undergraduate and post graduate students from different Nigeria universities in their research works. First, one of my interests for joining the network is to further expand my knowledge on malaria vector control. Looking at the Nigerian environment, considering the overwhelming cases of malaria, reading through scientific academic journals on malaria and mosquito impact, and giving a thought on the amount spent on its control, I have always asked myself how I can contribute to remedy this menace in sub-Saharan Africa. This quest sparked an unquenchable passion in me that have remained my prime research focus. In my place of work, I have great passion for the Insectary management. I see to the proper management of the cages, larva and pupa, feeding of the adult mosquitoes and study the diverse morphological differences found in the various species. I also have great passion for the wings, the venation patterns in the different genus. Another important reason is to serve as a springboard for my budding career in Entomology. A prestigious environment as this provides a great career-shaping opportunity to network with distinguished entomologists across the world. My ultimate professional goal is to develop a very active Entomology research group at my university with several national and international collaborators. Through this, I am therefore hoping to share my passion with younger scientists with similar interests as well as networking with more veteran Professors to draw from their experience and open-up avenues for possible collaborations in the future. I am very diligent, dependable and committed; very prompt at carrying out instructions; excellent problem solver, accommodating and good team player; very meticulous in strategizing and planning. Joining this noble network, would be a great step towards achieving my dream as a “modern entomologist”

Organisation details

Federal Ministry of Health, National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre