MODEC and its fund partners, Mitsui, Marubeni and MOL, have made another donation of $250,000 to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) through the AMED J-GRID project for the continuation of critical health science research in Ghana.
This follows a satisfactory report on the utilisation and successful outcomes of the initial donation of $250,000 made in June 2018 making it the largest and only corporate donation received by the project to date in Ghana.
The Institute is mandated to ensure overall global health security in terms of emerging/re-emerging disease and endemic tropical diseases and build capacity and conduct a specialised diagnosis.
It is for this reason that MODEC and its fund partners believe that supporting the work of the Institute aligns with their aim of improving the lives of Ghanaians, building healthier communities for development and furthering the collaboration between Japan and Ghana.
In the past year, some significant findings have been made with the support of the donation made by MODEC and its fund partners. The findings are;
Dengue and Chikungunya Fever: It was discovered that Dengue fever forms part of unexplained fevers in Ghana, though at low levels. The research has also unearthed a significant finding that the Ghanaian Aedes Mosquito is more refractory i.e. it does not easily take and transmit viral infections thereby preventing the spread of certain viruses or epidemics. This key finding presents an opportunity to further investigate what advantages can be gained from this refractoriness for disease control. It was also found that Chikungunya (a viral disease) occasionally presents in the country.
Rotavirus Diarrhea: NMIMR has led the building of evidence-based data for the advocacy and introduction of Rotavirus vaccines for the prevention and control of Severe Rotavirus Diarrhea in children since 2012. The donated funds were used to conduct diarrhea surveillance in children and to monitor, identify and isolate wild strains of Rotaviruses that are beginning to reemerge.
Antimicrobial Resistance: Many hospitals which have not been able to establish proper infection control become places where patients can acquire new infections. Occasionally some of these bacteria are found to be resistant bacteria (untreatable). The research looked at potential resistance in several locations/hospitals across the country. It was discovered that there is already microbial resistance to second and even third level antibiotics among the patient samples collected. Further research will be conducted to investigate the genetic basis for the resistance and to find solutions.
Prof. George Armah with Kwabena Kwadade
Commenting on the second donation, Prof. George Armah, Senior Research Fellow at NMIMR, who is credited for his work in clinical trials stated that donation will be used to further researches in order to unearth solutions for better health security.
He commended MODEC, Mitsui, Marubeni and MOL for the significant support and noting the funds will also be utilised to expand surveillance sites, bring new technology into the research, expand the sample size and possibly develop new diagnostic methods.
Kwabena Kwadade, Legal and Compliance Manager, MODEC Production Services Ghana JV Ltd., a subsidiary of MODEC, expressed satisfaction of the fund partners at the important work that the NMIMR and TMDU research teams were doing to ensure health security for Ghana and the continent at large.