A renowned Professor of Mathematics at Arizona State University, USA, Abba Gumel, has tipped the University of Ilorin to be among the top rank universities in the world within the next four years because of her visionary leadership and excellent management.

Prof. Gumel stated this last Monday (May 25, 2015), when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGanuyu Ambali (OON), in his office shortly before delivering a public lecture organised by the Centre fot International Education (CIE), University of Ilorin.

At the lecture, entitled “Mathematical Assessment of the Role of Climate on Vector-Borne Diseases”, the Arizona University don submitted that climate change could cause a devastating increase in Vector-Borne Diseases (VBD) burden and expansion of geographic range of the vectors.

Prof. Gumel said, “Climatic factors, such as temperature, humidity, rainfall and vapour pressure, significantly affect the incidence of BVDs either through changes in the duration of vector and parasite (pathogen) life cycles, or influences on host, vector, or parasite behaviour. Increases in average global surface temperatures since the 1950s and the trend is expected to continue over this century.”

According to the Guest Lecturer, a warmer climate could increase malaria burden, adding that it is believed that malaria epidemics can be predicted from climatic indicators and climate forecasts. He said, “Increases in temperature cause female adult anopheles mosquitoes to feed more frequently, while warmer waters shorten the juvenile incubation period leading to a faster maturation period of vector larvae”.

Prof. Gumel warned that the Sub-saharan Africa, where the overwhelming majority of malaria burden is currently concentrated, is expected to experience greater temperature increases than the global average.

He said also that as the global temperatures increase, a shift in the distribution of vectors into non-endemic areas may occur, so that malaria-endemic areas at lower temperatures may experience an increase in incidence, while regions at temperatures beyond the transmission peak are likely to experience a decline in incidence.

Prof. Gumel said, “The species involved in the transmission dynamics of mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, are affected by various abiotic (physical/non-biological) conditions such as temperature, precipitation, humidity and vapour pressure. Many life history features both of the malaria vector and the parasite are sensitive to temperature and the presence of aquatic habitat for mosquito breeding.”

The Professor of Mathematics disclosed that empirical studies show that in general, rates of larval mosquito survival and development, biting and pathogen replication rates increase with increasing temperature up to an optimum value and then decrease rapidly as lethal temperatures are approached.

He noted in contrast that the survival of adult mosquitoes tends to decline with increasing temperature.

Earlier in his opening address, the Vice-Chancellor of the Univrsity of Ilorin, Prof. Ambali,  stated that the University has a visionary and positive agenda, adding that it is committed to being ranked among the top universities in the world.

Prof. Ambali pointed out that the University has committed staff that are ready to work and take the University to greater heights. He then  expressed the desire of Unilorin to have a workable Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Arizona State University.

The Vice-Chancellora described the lecture topic as important, noting that all disciplines are interrelated.

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