NMIMR Hosts WANETAM-2 Retreat

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), a constituent of College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana and Ghana’s leading biomedical research institute, has hosted the West African Network for TB, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM) year 2 retreat to provide a platform for the assessment of the year 1 project activities as well as in-depth discussions with fellows and visiting scientists from its network of research centres and reprograming of future plans.

 The three-day retreat, held under the theme “Empowering African Research Institutions through Capacity Building, Partnership and Networking” brought together world-class scientists from West Africa who conduct research into diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS prevalent in Africa.

In his opening remarks during the opening ceremony, Director of NMIMR, Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang indicated that the Institute was established with the vision to improve on the health and wellbeing of Ghanaians and mankind through focused and relevant quality biomedical research, human resource development and support of national public health activities for which it celebrates 40 years of progress.

The Director reiterated the Institute’s commitment towards advanced training and research in partnership. He noted that WANETAM is part of a group of four nodes of excellence created by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to combat poverty related diseases in sub Saharan Africa. It brings together 4 European institutions and 16 West African institutions including NMIMR. The targeted general objectives of WANETAM is to prioritize capacity building and technology transfer to prepare West African institutes for the successful conduct of clinical trials and to create a network of excellence for sub-regional scientific collaborations.

 He reiterated the importance of the retreat and relevance of the existence of WANETAM for the above-mentioned diseases. He finally entreated the Government to provide incentives to encourage the creation of research units in the private sector to absorb the pool of research scientists produced by research institutions across the country.   

In brief remarks, Rev. Professor Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi, Provost of the College of Health Sciences, & Ag. Dean, School of Public Health commended the giant strides made by the institute over the years in recognition of its role in putting the University on the map not only in Africa but the world at large. He also emphasized the importance of the partnership established to research into various diseases. Rev. Professor Ayeh-Kumi used the opportunity to welcome the guests on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and applauded partner institutions for their commitment to such a worthy course.

 Briefing the audience, Co-ordinator of WANETAM, Professor Souleymane Mboup noted that the programme brought together 20 institutions from 9 African countries including Burkina Faso, Guinea, Gambia, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Ghana. He also touched briefly on the objective of the retreat which was to strengthen collaborations and to manage efficiently the resources and infrastructures within WANETAM “and to also promote professional development and scientific leadership in clinical trials through training and mentorship”, he said.

In his address, Dr. Moses Bukarie, Director of South-South Cooperation and Head of EDCTP explicated that the retreat was to assess the research and its progress as far as its worthiness to attract future funding from EDCTP is concerned. As part of the 3-day retreat, discussions would centre on the progress made by WANETAM. He applauded partner institutions for their devotion and hard work in attaining mandates set.

On his part, Dr. Assan Jaye briefed the audience on the progress made by WANETAM regardless of the challenges. He further discussed the objectives of the project which were to strengthen collaboration in the use of resources and infrastructure within the network, as well as to promote professional development and scientific leadership in clinical trials through training and mentorship, create partnership between institutions with different strengths but a shared vision.

Source University of Ghana website

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), set up in 1979 as a semi autonomous institute of the University, is the leading biomedical research facility in Ghana.

© 2017 NMIMR

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