Noguchi Institute and JICA Train Healthcare Professionals from 9 West African Countries On Enhancing Laboratory Skills for Infectious Diseases

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), a  leading biomedical research institute in the subregion and a constituent of the College of Health Science of the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is organizing a training program for healthcare professionals selected from nine West African countries.  The training is taking place at the Noguchi Memorial Institute.

The training program:Third Country Training Course on Enhancing Laboratory Skills for Infectious Diseases in West African Countries for Post Ebola”, is designed to provide an intensive and detailed training in modern laboratory technology to improve disease surveillance and prevention and to upgrade the skills of laboratory technicians in Ghana and neighbouring countries.

According to the Director of the Institute, Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang: “We are in an era where there is outbreak of infectious dieseases from different parts oof the world. We are happy that one of the most important priorities of our international cooperation with JICA, based on human security, is the improvement of the healthcare systems, to ensure prevention and management of various live-threatening infections. Securing sufficient healthcare workers and developing their abilities are important elements of such efficient healthcare system. And that is what we are trying to build at the Noguchi Memorial Institute with the support of the Japanese government.”

Prof. Anang continued: “Since the need for functional medical teams comprising physicians and other health professionals including lab-technicians is paramount  for the operation of efficient and effective healthcare systems, there is an urgent need for the development of specialists in biomedical laboratory technology. This is due to the critical role they play in the diagnosis and treatment of infections.”

The course has been established, to provide an intensive and detailed training program in modern laboratory technology at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR). This is to help improve the skills of laboratory technicians across West Africa. Last year, participants were drawn from four West African countries. This year, the number of participating countries has increased to nine, indicating that the training is highly needed across the sub-region.

The training program, which aims at improving the laboratory staff’s techniques and skills for the diagnosis of infectious diseases caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses, will be held in Ghana for 8 weeks from 13th January 2020 to 5th March 2020. There are fifteen (15) Participants for the course, drawn from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Togo, Benin, Cote I’Dvoire, and Ghana.

As part of the training, participants will learn best laboratory practices and latest innovations from technologists in the Bacteriology, Parasitology and Virology departments of the Noguchi Institute as well s biosafety practices. At the end of their training, they will have the opportunities to improve the quality of diagnosing, treatment and prevention of infections at medical institutions or laboratories in their various countries.

Past participants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been able to conduct risk and needs assessement in their various institutions, improved process and workflow, enhanced external quality assurance and taught their colleagues and other personnel, thereby ensuring adequate knowledge transfer.

JICA remains committed to supporting the Noguchi Memorial Institute in its quest to providing world-class biomedical health services and training in Ghana and beyond. The Japanese government continues to support Ghana’s efforts at actualizing quality and accessible universal healthcare. The support provided to the Noguchi Institute is one of the numerous ways JICA and the Japanese Government is supporting different sectors in Ghana. JICA supports the Ghanaian government in other sectors including infrastructure, agriculture, education, private sector development, civil service training and many more.

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