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)