The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana, will soon acquire extra two P3 Laboratories through a Japanese Government Grant.
The P3 Laboratory will assist the Institute to do more research on dangerous diseases.
The facility, also known as the high-containment facility, is a controlled-access laboratory required for all experiments involving hazard group three pathogens (P3) of high potential risk to laboratory personnel and the environment.
Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem, the Director of NMIMR, announced this at an Open Day in commemoration of the 90th arrival of Dr Hideyo Noguchi in Ghana.
The week-long commemoration will be climaxed with symposium and scientific presentations on achievements of the Institute since its establishment in 1979.
Prof. Bosompem said the Institute considered the day as very important as it would allow the public to visit, interact with the staff, and appreciate the work being done at the laboratory to help create awareness.
He said the Institute would build on its well established multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary research environment to involve its collaborators and partners from nations around the world.
‘Today is also a special day because the programme is to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the arrival of Dr Nuguchi to Ghana and to West Africa in 1927. Dr Nuguchi came to Ghana and his mission was a very difficult challenge situation, similar to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. He came to find a solution to yellow fever, his research was all about the cause of yellow fever.
‘In those days, it wasn’t known that yellow fever was caused by a virus and when he came about seven months after his arrival, he contracted yellow fever and died,’ he said.
Prof. Bosompem said the Institute was to conduct research but in recent times it had developed programmes to educate people with PhD and also build capacity for health research through training of graduates and under graduates.
‘We build the capacity for health workers across the country to be able to diagnose, improve and manage the health sector.
He said since its establishment in 1979 in honour of the renowned Japanese scientist, the NMIMR had gained global recognition as a leading biomedical research institute in Africa, building capacity for prevention and control of endemic diseases, as well as emerging and re-emerging diseases in Ghana and the West African Sub-region.
In the 1920s Dr. Hideyo Noguchi dedicated his life to the service of humanity saving lives during the major yellow fever outbreak in West Africa, and for decades, the Institute has been a leader in providing effective diagnosis of infections including HIV/Aids, H1N1 Pandemic Flu, LASSA fever, Yellow fever, and Ebola Virus Disease among others.
This achievement, Prof Bosompem said, was made possible through a dynamic relationship established among local researchers, technologists, students and health professionals working together in research networks with external collaborators.
Students from the University and pupils near the University campus were at the Institute and were taken through activities of the nine departments.