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A high profile delegation from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) visited the University of Ghana on 19th October, 2016. The visit was to build university-based collaboration between University of Ghana (UG) and TMDU based on the ongoing collaborative research project between TMDU and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) sponsoredbyJapan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).


                                                               TMDU delegates touring some laboratories in the Institute

The five-member delegation was led by the President of TMDU, Dr. Yasuyuki Yoshizawa together with Dr. Hajime Karasuyama Executive Director for University Innovation and Globalization, Professor Nobuo Ohta Project leader of AMED sponsored TMDU-NMIMR project, Mr. Koji Shimoda Manager of Policy Planning Office and Mr. Takashi YoshidaSpecially Appointed Professor, Institute of Global Affairs.

The two universities both signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for expanding academic exchange involving the  College of Health Science. After the signing ceremony at UG, TMDU delegation visited NMIMR for an  institutional seminar on the collaboration between NMIMR andTMDU.

Prof. Kwadwo Koram, Director of the Institute expressed his profound gratitude to the delegation of TMDU for the continual support given to NMIMR. He mentioned that the collaboration between TMDU and NMIMR began long before 2008 when researchers between the two institutions sought to research on infectious diseases. He prayed that the collaboration is strengthen and sustained. He added that the ongoing works at the University’s teaching hospital is timely since its completion would also complement the research work by the institute.

Giving the opening remarks, H.E. Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura, Ambassador of Japan in Ghana, described the relationship between the NMIMR and Japan as very healthy and beneficial to both countries. He also pledged their continual support to help strengthen the bonds between the two countries.

      
The Vice Chancellor and TMDU delegates 
                                                             Group photograph of staff and delegates present

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer O. Owusu said despite the efforts to curb the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases in the Sub-Sahara Africa, the situation was becoming increasingly burdensome which is also compounded by the emergence of drug –resistant pathogens to available drugs. This therefore needs the steady and long-term research programmes including surveillance, control and development of new tools for diagnosis and treatment of the disease just as the AMED sponsored TMDU-NMIMR project aimed and collaborate for such a long history. He added the new research facility would be the good foundation for effective medical research and education (credit daily graphic, October 21, 2016).

Professor George Armah, Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator for the AMED sponsored TMDU-NMIMR Project gave an overview of the project. He stated that the project is being carried out in three: a) Diarrheal diseases in Ghana and b) molecular epidermiology of Dengue and Chikuingunya fever and c) Drug discovery on infectious diseases based on Ghanaian medicinal plants.

The delegation also visited Rev. Prof. Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi Provost College of Health Science(CHS) and Deans of 4 schools; School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, and School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, to discuss in detailed for the needs of support and possible exchange programmes. According to the TMDU delegation, the discussion with CHS was very fruitful and found needs of exchange programme not only for students but also faculties for capacity development.

 

TMDU-NMIMR COLLABORATION

The collaborative efforts between the Government of Japan, through the Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), and the Government of Ghana has brought on board a lot of mutual benefit to both parties including capacity building and infrastructural developments.

International research collaboration project between TMDU and NMIMR started in 2008 as part of the Program for Funding Research Centers for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT). The aim of this program was to promote on-site research into infectious diseases to improve public health in Ghana, as well as to develop human resources in the field of infectious disease research. Currently the project is sponsored by AMED which is sponsored by three Ministries in Japan; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.Under the collaboration between TMDU and NMIMR, more than 100 researchers had been exchanged including 40 young researchers so far. In addition, 10 researchers from NMIMR had been received under the PhD course at TMDU. Among them five (5) are now Research Fellows at NMIMR and the other 5 still being trained at TMDU.

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