Grand opening: NMIMR Advanced Research Labs

 The Government of Ghana and Japan have officially commissioned the all-new, ultra-modern Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories. The ceremony was held on the forecourt of the facility at the University of Ghana  on 26th March, 2019. Dignitaries from both governments graced the event.

 Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Senior Minister, who represented His Excellency the President, expressed profound gratitude to the Government and people of Japan for putting up the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories. Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the President, he said “Our health is our wealth”, adding that any establishment that advances the frontiers of cutting-edge research to inform the practice of disease prevention and control is of immense relevance.

In commending the achievements of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, he said the institute has over the years served as a major player in providing state-of-the-art detection and diagnosis of dangerous pathogens that has caused major epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Pandemic Flu, Yellow fever and Ebola Virus Disease. He expressed his expectation of seeing the Institute becoming a global centre of excellence and was optimistic that the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories will serve its purpose.  Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, he said, has become a national asset and pledged government’s commitment to support the mandate of the Institute, the maintenance of the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories as well as supporting the establishment of the Endowment Fund.

The Senior Minister, in delivering the keynote address on behalf of His Excellency the President, urged all beneficiaries of the facility to effectively manage and maintain the facility in order to enhance its use and functionality as well as prolong its life span. He further charged the University to create a new and positive narrative on the bad maintenance culture that has bedevilled the country.

He extended deep appreciation, on behalf of His Excellency the President,  to the Government and people of Japan, through the Ambassador for their continuous support and assistance to Ghana in various sectors of the economy, through initiatives and programmes under the African Business Education (ABE) Initiative, Overseas Development Assistance Scheme, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV). These initiatives he stated has improved maternal and child health, transportation, energy, agriculture and human resource development as well as technical assistance in various fields.

Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Senior Minister

 

His Excellency, Tsutomu Himeno, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, reiterated that the Noguchi Memorial Institute remained a symbol of the cordial and progressive relationship and partnership between Japan and Ghana. He assured Ghana of continued commitment and contribution to the peace, stability and development of the country. H. E. Tsutomu Himeno, reiterated the importance of the laboratories in strengthening the relationship between Ghana and Japan. According to him, the Japanese considered health as important and they were happy to invest in the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories. He re-echoed the importance of maintenance saying that it was essential. He commended the commitment of the Government of Ghana and the University of Ghana to the project and  said the commitment served as an assurance that the facility will be put to good use.

H.E Tsutomu Himeno, Japanese Ambassador

Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi, Chief Representative JICA, in his remarks said that as the implementing agency of the Japanese government support, JICA was happy to see that the final product of cooperation impact positively on the lives of people.

Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi gave a brief account of the collaborations between JICA and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.  According to him, the collaboration and support from JICA was formerly on capacity-building but a shift became necessary to have collaborative research with the lessons that was learnt from the Ebola outbreak. He also noted that, the experience from Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research is being used in a joint training programme for laboratory technicians across the West African sub-region. Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi also revealed plans of a new technical cooperation project to strengthen the safety and quality management capacity of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi, Chief Representative JICA

Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor, in his statement, was full of praise for the Japanese government for strengthening the capacity of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the country at large. The Vice-Chancellor mentioned that the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories provides a good foundation for excellent biomedical research in the country. On behalf of the University of Ghana, he pledged the University’s support in managing the facility. According to him, the facility teaches the need to instil the principles for value for money and time management.  Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu urged all Ghanaians to imbibe the values of integrity and honesty, a characteristic trait of the Japanese people.


Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, Vice-Chancellor

 

Earlier, Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang, Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in his remarks, gave a brief history of the Institute, while paying glowing tribute to the founding fathers as well as retired staff for their commitment and dedication to the advancement of the Institute. Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang also outlined some of the achievements of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research since its establishment; a feat he stated has made the Institute to be a leading biomedical research institute and a forerunner in the fight against emerging and re-emerging diseases in the West African sub-region.  He also stated that the institute was a regional reference Laboratories in West Africa and a Regional Mirror bio bank.

In outlining the importance of the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories, the Director noted that the inauguration of the facility positions the Institute to deliver state-of-the-art technologies in biomedical research and achieve its mandate of conducting research in infectious and non-infectious diseases, building capacity through training for the next generation and providing diagnostics and monitoring services in support of public health. Also, the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories he stated will strengthen the capacity of the institute as a key player in national, regional and global surveillance to prevent, detect diagnose and monitor outbreak. Additionally, it will provide the additional resource in specialised equipment, facilities and human talent for promoting the mission of the institute as a centre of excellence for advancing global health security, he stated.

The Director stated that, as part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the institute, they will leverage on the Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories in innovative partnerships and mobilize the human and material resources available to create new opportunities. He also outlined the plans of the Institute in controlling and eradicating yellow fever through the “Consultative Group” which will be inaugurated in May 2019.  Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang also revealed that plans were advanced in the establishment of the Hideyo Noguchi Together Endowment Fund.

 

Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang, Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR)

Present at the ceremony were Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State, Tertiary Education, Principal Officers of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chancellor, Prof. Yaw Twumasi, Chairman of Council, Dr. Keluwa, WHO Country Representative, Hon. Sandra Owusu Ahenkorah, MCE for Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan, Member of Parliament, Ayawaso West Wuogon.  In attendance were Provosts, Deans and Directors and other members of the university community.

 

Prof. Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi, Provost of the College of Health Sciences

Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan

Also in attendance were representatives from JICA, staff of the Japanese Embassy, representatives from Shimizu and Nikkon Sekkei.

 

 

from left: Past Directors of NMIMR and Provosts of the University

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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