Prof. Kwadwo Koram, Director, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of University of Ghana together with His Excellency, Parker Allotey, Ghanaian Ambassador to Japan, Hon. Agyemang Manu, Minister for Health and Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State at the Ministry of Education in charge of Tertiary Education have cut the sod for the construction of Advanced Research Center for Infectious Diseases under the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The Project aims to provide an efficient and safe research and teaching environment for staff and students of the Institute by constructing an Advanced Center for research into infectious diseases. The Centre upon completion, will contribute to the positioning of Noguchi Memorial Institute’s role in responding to the ever expanding research and training needs of the country as well as the West African sub-region and to respond effectively to disease outbreaks, including highly pathogenic agents such as Ebola Virus. JICA shall extend a grant up to approximately twenty-one million US dollars for a new Bio Safety Level 3 laboratory, Virology, Bacteriology and Immunology laboratories and training spaces.
Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi, new Chief Representative for JICA Ghana has congratulated the Institute on its remarkable contribution to the research and public health service in Ghana, as well as the West African sub-region. He also commented an elevating expectation to the Institute for leading regional disease surveillance network, capacity building for laboratory and research in West Africa.
In his speech: “Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is one of the major targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In G7 Ise-Shima Summit hosted by Japan in 2016, “Attaining UHC with strong health systems and better preparedness for public health emergencies” was adopted as one of the major commitments of the Summit. Moreover, at the TICAD 6, the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development held in Kenya in August 2016, African delegation, Japan and other global health leaders also reiterated the importance to include the aspect of preparedness for public health emergencies into UHC effort. The reason why I am emphasizing the UHC, is that Ghana is having great potential in achieving UHC with the good focus on the preparedness, with the contribution from the Noguchi Institute.”
Prof. Kwadwo Koram, Director, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of University of Ghana thanked the Government of Japan and JICA for the continued support for the Institute and pledged that the Institute would continue to uphold international standards and excellence in all its operations.