Dr. Samuel Kaba, Deputy Director of Ghana Health Service (GHS) in-charge of Institutional Services on Thursday noted that research is the gateway to development and asked the government to prioritize it.
He said the United States is virtually leading the world in every discipline, including healthcare, because the American medical research industry produce more than half of the $175 billion of healthcare technology products purchased globally.
Dr. Kaba said in 2004, the US government spent $18.4 billion on medical research while the European Union, with a larger population spent only $3.7 billion.
"We can observe why the rest of the world depends on the US in healthcare, as in so many things, so we know and we want to encourage and prioritize research as part and parcel of our educational culture."
Dr. Kaba made the observation at a day's workshop in Accra, organized by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the Japanese Government's Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development, as part of activities marking the 65th anniversary of the University of Ghana. The workshop was on the theme: "Establishment of effective research network for infectious diseases and medical plants in Ghana.
"As we stand at the crossroad of history, let me emphasize that whatever is easy has been done. Any decision taken today has an absolute impact on the quality of our lives and that of the generation of our children and our children's children.
"Now, somehow, someone gave voice to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideals about developing and spreading this noble discipline of research, so we cannot turn back. "We have come too far, we have seen so much, the stakes are high and there is still a lot to do," the Deputy Director noted.
Dr. Kaba said there is a lot to do to avoid the many ordinary people who die painfully, trapped in the syndrome of no bed and whose names never appear in the papers, never get on the television and had never been mentioned.
He added that more research should be carried out into the numerous pregnant women who die in labour because of no blood or late referrals.
Dr. Kaba said: "The more research we do in our own lives is the only means to meet the challenges of this 21st century.
"But it must be clear, the road will be rough, the journey will be long, but I can assure you that with the spirit of hopefulness and sacrifice, we as a people will get there.
"You are not on your own, you will not travel this long distance alone. GHS is fully committed and will be there to hold your back and work together with the private sector, quasi-government and any other form of service delivery including traditional health for a better health service delivery to the good people of this great nation.
"In the life of every generation, the spirit of hopefulness, sacrifice, togetherness and research must come through if we want to make our mark in history, "Dr. Kaba said.
Professor Kwabena Mante Bosompem, Deputy Director of NMIMR announced that the research into plant medicines is making good progress with the discovery of novel anti-trypanosomal compounds for the potential treatment of trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).