The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) celebrated the 90th Year of arrival of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi in Ghana. The celebration which highlighted the role of the NMIMR in key events such as the outbreaks of HIV/AIDS, H1N1 Pandemic Flu, LASSA fever, Yellow fever and Ebola Virus Disease of recent years took place from the 16th to 17th of November 2017.
The Director of the Institute, Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem in his opening remarks gave a ray of hope for Noguchi’s research perspective. He said “the NMIMR since its establishment has been pursuing a threefold mandate : to conduct research into communicable and non-communicable diseases; build capacity of the next generation scientists and provide specialized diagnosis and intervention tools in support of public health in Ghana and beyond.
He made the assertion that “the Institute has emerged as a forerunner in the fight against emerging and re-emerging diseases in the West African sub region.
According to Professor Ebenezer Owusu, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, “the destiny of NMIMR and the arrival of Dr. Noguchi’s arrival are intertwined”. He indicated that Dr. Noguchi, even though challenged by limited resources, persevered to become a renowned researcher. ‘This symposium further presents a good opportunity to enhance the existing dynamic cooperation between Ghana and Japan and hoped that the relationship Ghana has with Japan is sustained till “thy Kingdom come”
Professor Ebenezer Owusu
The Deputy Minister for Health Honourable Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu who graced the occasion said that Japan has been one of the largest bilateral partners of Ghana. He said Ghana will forever remain grateful to Dr Hideyo Noguchi “martyr of science” for his dedication and commitment not only to Ghana but the world at large. He again stated that Dr Noguchi Hideyo arrival in Ghana in 1927, brought relief to the people of Ghana with his work, interest and dedication in the area of yellow fever, until his death on May 21, 1928 led to the discovery of yellow fever vaccine. He reiterated that “Ever since this, the Ghana-Japan relation has been growing from strength to strength and we are grateful for that as a country” .
Honourable Aboagye-Gyedu further indicated that a more intensified effort will be needed to drive the current Government agenda in the health sector.
He said the Japanese Government had assisted the country in the scaling up of CHPS implementation in the Upper East for the past 10 years. The programme focuses on the attainment of the Universal Health Coverage, adding that this support has been extended to the Northern Region.
“The Japanese Government has also been supporting Ghana towards the eradication of Guinea worm, HIV/AIDS prevention and control, and human resource for health development,” he said.
His Excellency Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura ambassador for Japan emphasized the need to fight against emerging infectious diseases which are serious threats to human race. He reiterated that more than 100 Japan overseas cooperation volunteers and Japanese experts are in Ghana to support further development.
The Director, Professor Bosompem stressed the need for the Institute to acquire a next generation sequence. He said NMIMR has advanced in laboratory research and training and hence its third manndate of developing specialised diagnostic and intervention tools must be leveraged. The Institute he emphasized must strengthen that relevance and people must know its indispensability. Stepping forward, He charged that the Institute can become a true leader by developing strategic global Partnerships, take advantage of its true opportunity and should be the hub for research .
There were keynote lectures on the topics: “Dr Hideyo Noguchi and Complement from Cobra Venom factor to Lectin Complement Pathway” and “A Great Scientist, Dr Hideyo Noguchi from Inawashikro to Accra” delivered by Prof. Teizo Fujita, President, Fukushima Prefectural General Hygiene Institute, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima and Ms. Yukiko Noguchi, Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Foundation, Fukushima.
NMIMR and Partners on a pannel discussion
The Noguchi 90th Anniversary Symposium had the Theme : Arrival of Dr Hideyo Noguchi in the Gold Coast: 90 Years on. The two day symposium had seven scientific sessions including: Historical Perspectives of the Collaboration between Japan and Ghana; Infectious diseases research; Advancing Public Health; and Panel Discussions on – Contributions of the NMIMR and partners to regional preparedness for global health risks, threats and emergencies, Scientific collaborations and socio-cultural perspectives, and NMIMR Research achievements impacting Ghana, the West African Sub-region and beyond.
Japanesse Traditional Performance(shisi Odori)
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, Legon in partnership with researchers from French National Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and African Centres of Excellence based at the University of Ghana and Benin held a meeting to discuss the issues related to research for development in the West African Sub-region on 14th and 15th November, 2017.The meeting was held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the International Joint Laboratory for the Control of Helminth Infections (LMI-CONSHELM).
The meeting aimed at mobilizing researchers from the network (Benin-Ghana), to participate as major players in the implementation of control/elimination plans for helminth infections at the country and reional levels. The meeting also addressed the sustainability of African Centres of Excellence and the initiative for an African Research Council (ARC), which is a support mechanism being considered for promoting scientific research of excellence in Africa, carried out by African institutions with European support.
Speaking at the meeting H.E. François Pujolas, the French Ambassador to Ghana recalled the need to promote research in Africa in order to support the development of the continent. He stated the importance of having a pragmatic approach in solving issues and mentioned the involvement of the Cooperation Service of the French Embassy in Ghana and the French Development Agency (AFD).
He also congratulated IRD for its effort of building the capacity of young scientists for a generational excellence and commended the French Government’s efforts towards the whole initiative and encouraged Africans to adopt change through innovation.
The Director of NMIMR, Professor Kwabena Bosompem said the outstanding positioning of the Universityof Ghaan as being a world class university with an intensive research unit implies that the Institute is expected to pay particular attention to community development. " The Millennium Development Goals 8 states the need for developing global partnerships for develpoment and NMIMR, as part of its initiative has also embarked on a journey of building stategic partnerships" he said. Professor Bosompem reiterated that these partnerships are those that can break barriers into innovation and create platforms into the next level of human society.
Professor Kwabena Bosompem (left) and H.E. François Pujolas(right)
Professor Nicaise Ndam a representative of IRD spoke on IRD and its functions. He said IRD supports scientific cooperation, sets out to understand climate change in order to implement adapted solutions, to train masters and PhD students as well as to support committees in research and education works such as the junior team.
He again emphasized several programme IRD is embarking which includes assessing the impact of climatic change in some African countries, malaria research programme among others.
Professor Nicaise Ndam IRD Representative
Professor Gordon Awandare, Director WACCBIP(left) and Professor Eric Dankwa Director WACCI (right)
A photo of participants during a plenary section
Participants engaged in Laboratory activities.
There were plenary discussions with leaders of African Centres of Excellence in Ghana and AFD .
The Participating research institutions included:
- West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP)
- West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI)
- Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS)
- University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem, Department of Parasitology, NMIMR
Professor Kwadwo Ansah Koram, Department of Epidemiology, NMIMR
Professor Daniel Adjei Boakye, Department of Parasitology, NMIMR
Professor Regina Appiah-Opong, Department of Clinical Pathology, NMIMR
Professor Alexander Kwadwo Nyarko, School of Pharmacy
Dr. Irene Ayi, Department of Parasitology, NMIMR
Professor Kwabena Bosompem
Professor Kwadwo Koram
Professor Daniel Boakye
Professor Regina Appiah-Opong
Professor Alexander Nyarko
Dr. Irene Ayi
On Monday October 23rd 2017, Department of Animal Science of the School of Agriculture and the Department of Animal Experimentation of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) held an opening ceremony to fuel a two week International Training course in Laboratory Animal Science. The course is aimed at building the capacity and knowledge of participants in the field of Laboratory Animal Science. This will help Laboratory Animal Scientists have additional knowledge on responsible care, use & handling of animals, obtain some practical skills in administration of substances, as well as various techniques. Dr. Thomas Nortey, Chief Coordinator of the workshop revealed this during his welcome address. He also thanked his coordinating team members; Dr. Samuel Adjei and Dr. Ayizanga for the effort in making this training course a reality.
Prof. Kwabena Bosompem Director, (NMIMR) expressed his immense joy and appreciation of the training course. He said that the Institute has since the 1990s been a major producer of anti-snake serum for the Ghana Health Service. Prof Bosompem indicated that the training will bring an opportunity in developing proper animal care and control of the frequent outflow of animal diseases to man and from Man to animals. In addition, the director of NMIMR encouraged the need to create a common system of mass control of infections within Ghana.
(from left) Professor Kwabena Bosompem, Professor George Obeng-Adjei & Prof. Dr. Vera Bauman
Director of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) also commended the team for this training opportunity. He said that the various research conducted by NMIMR has always been of high interest to ORID. He said “we lack phase 1 trials basically due to lack of infrastructure which we are hopeful to work on in the future.”
The Chairman of the research ethics committee of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) of the University of Ghana, stated that research continues to play major roles in human lives and hence the need to pay particular attention to it. He said that the ethics committee for CBAS was set up and inaugurated on Wednesday 28th January 2015, following the approval of the ORID management board to set up ethics committee for the various qualities within the University of Ghana. According to him the committee was set up in prior mandate of the University’s policy on the use of humans and non-humans for research. It monitors the ethical nature of research in teaching undertaken by faculty of CBAS in respect of animals used for teaching and experimentation.
The leader of the team of experts from University of Utretcht, Natherlands, Prof. Dr. Vera Bauman, said they were excited to be in Ghana to offer this training an urged the course participants to take advantage of this opportunity to advance the course of appropriate use of animals in research.
Laboratory Animal scientists at the two weeks workshop