The Department of Medical Microbiology, at the University of Ghana Medical School, has held the second edition of a conference on Microbial Genomics and Drug Resistance on the theme: ‘Perspectives of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Era of covid-19 Pandemic.’ The Conference saw the launch of four (4) of its newly funded projects as well as a new website.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, who chaired the occasion, commended the Department for their efforts and encouraged other academic units in the field to collaborate with the Department. She explained that this initiative had contributed purposefully toward the attainment of her first key strategic objective as a Vice-Chancellor, which intends to regenerate impactful research in the applied sciences and humanities, resulting in increase in research income, coupled with an exponential growth of research outputs, such as publications and citations.
Provost of the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Prof. Julius N. Fobil, in his remarks called on all stakeholders, particularly those in the Department, to give their full support to the School to enable it achieve success.
The Dean of University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS), Prof. Alfred E. Yawson, stated that UGMS has significantly contributed to the training of over 5,000 medical practitioners worldwide. He congratulated Prof. Eric Sampane-Donkor, on the launch of the new projects and website.
The Special Guest of Honour for the Conference, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Health Advisor at the Presidency, in a brief statement, gave assurance that government would continue to collaborate with scientists and the private sector to establish vaccine manufacturing centers.
PowerPoint presentations were made on various topics such as Viral, Parasitic Insecticide Resistance; Antibiotic use and Resistance; and Covid-19. There was also a panel discussion which focused on preparing for a new pandemic to gather solutions to the above-mentioned topics presently and in the future.
Present at the event were: Dr. Franklin Aseidu-Bekoe, Director of Public Health, Ghana Health Service; Dr. Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt, Technical Coordinator, Ministry of Health and Chief Pharmacist of Ghana.
Also present were Heads and former Heads of Department, members of the University community and students.
ABOUT THE WEBSITE AND DEPARTMENTAL PROJECTS
The new website includes an E-Library, staff profiles, events, and activities, and is intended to serve as an information source for the Department’s publics. The Department’s official website is now https://dmm.ug.edu.gh/
The four new departmental projects launched were:
- Centre for Microbial Drug Resistance and Therapeutics (CMDRT) funded by the African Development Bank worth USD 2.83 million with duration of five (5) years. The purpose was to set up a clinical Centre of Excellence for Discovery and Translational Research Diagnostics, Vaccines and Therapeutics. The principal investigator was Prof. Kwamena W.C Sagoe.
- The West Africa Mathematical Modelling Capacity Development (WAMCAD): Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone and Partnership which was funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with an amount of USD3million and took three years for its completion. The goal was to enhance technical capacity development in Malaria and NTD modelling through a multi-track training programme targeting multiple career stages from students to faculty as well as malaria control practitioners. Prof. Yaw A. Afrane was the principal investigator.
- Targeted Removal of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Facultative Pathogenic Bacteria in Waste Water. This was funded by International Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Solutions, with an amount of USD2.5million in three (3) years. The goal was to stop the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, antibiotic resistance genes and other health critical microorganisms from hotspots to the public sewage network in Accra. Prof. Japheth A. Opintan was the Principal Investigator.
- Invasive Pneumococcal Disease Carriage among children with sickle cell disease in Ghana: Post vaccination study (PneumoSIC). Funder of this project was the National Institute of Health USA with an amount of USD 675.000 within five years. The goal was to understand the epidemiology of Pneumococcal Carriage and invasive Disease among children with sickle cell disease in the post-conjugate vaccine era in Ghana. The principal investigator was Prof. Eric Sampane-Donkor.