29 March 2019

Ghana: Noguchi Commissions U.S.$20.7 Million Laboratory

The Government of Ghana and Japan have officially commissioned the all-new, ultra-modern Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratory at a ceremony on the forecourt of the new edifice at the University of Ghana in Accra.

His Excellency, Tsutomu Himeno, Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, reiterated that the Noguchi Memorial Institute remained a symbol of the cordial and progressive relationship and partnership between Japan and Ghana. He assured Ghana of continued commitment and contribution to the peace, stability and development of the country.

Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi delivery his speech

The Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, Mr. Hirofumi Hoshi expressed his expectation on the best use of the new laboratories for the advanced academic research as well as for laboratory diagnosis and surveillance in Ghana and beyond.

The Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh praised the Government of Japan for its numerous contributions to the Health and Education sectors in Ghana. They urged custodians to remain professional and dutiful in managing the facility to the utmost benefit of Ghanaians and other nationals across the sub-region.

Gratitude to the Japanese Government

Expressing gratitude to the Government of Japan, Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo commended the benevolence of Japan and stated that the project was vital to addressing the emerging health threats of the 21st Century.

Hon. Osafo-Marfo, assured that the Institute would ensure strict adherence to safety protocols and highest standards for biomedical research, while providing a good environment for training the next generation of scientists across the sub-region.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu,commended the benevolence of Japan and stated the New Laboratories was vital to addressing the emerging health threats of the 21st Century. He assured the Institute would ensure strict adherence to safety protocols and highest standards for biomedical research, while providing a good environment for training the next generation of scientists across the subregion.

Background of the story

The Government of Japan in 2016, approved a Grant Aid of two billion, two hundred and eighty five million Japanese Yen (JPY2, 285,000,000) approximately $20.7 million, in support of supply of laboratory equipment and the construction of an Advanced Research Laboratory for Infectious Diseases at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana, Legon.

The decision to establish the Advanced Research Laboratories for Infectious Diseases at NMIMR was prompted by the need to strengthen the capacity of the Institute to enable it function effectively as a leading biomedical research institution in the West Africa sub-region, in the light of increasing and emerging infectious diseases.

Vision for this Laboratories

The construction of the new Noguchi Advanced Research Laboratories is in line with the thinking and aspirations of global partners that attended the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in Nairobi, Kenya, where they agreed African needed to build resilience to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

The new facility will strengthen regional capacity for early detection and effective response to disease outbreaks, including those emanating from highly pathogenic agents such as Ebola, HIV, H1N1 Pandemic Flu, Lassa Fever and Yellow Fever, among others. The facility will also enable the entire Noguchi Memorial Institute function effectively as the go-to regional reference biomedical institute for West Africa.

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