Second Lady, Samira Bawumia donates to Noguchi Memorial Institute

The Second Lady of the Republic and founder of the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP), Her Excellency Hajia Samira Bawumia, has made a donation to the University of Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

This, according to her, forms part of the Project’s commitment to support the delivery of healthcare in Ghana in general, and specifically to acknowledge the good work being done by the Institute during these un-chartered times. 

In her remarks, the Second Lady noted that she deemed it fit to support the NMIMR which is at the forefront of the fight against the global pandemic, COVID-19.   

She said in line with the objectives of SEHP, which include healthcare, her foundation decided to donate their widow’s mite to the NMIMR.   She further commended the University of Ghana for availing its resources to the fight against the pandemic.

Recalling the recent visit of the President of the Republic to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, she reiterated the sentiments he expressed by acknowledging the hard work being put in by the Institute with respect to testing samples. 

She assured the Institute of her fullest support.  On behalf of SEHP, she donated one thousand (1,000) KC100 protective gowns, one thousand (1,000) pairs of surgical gloves, one thousand (1,000) pieces of nose masks, hand sanitisers, boxes of biscuits, water and fruit drinks to the Institute.  She was hopeful that the donation would complement the Institute’s existing resources in the discharge of its duty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hopefully this will not be the last of our visits here. We will also work as much as we can to continue supporting your efforts,” she added.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, while welcoming the Second Lady, expressed immense gratitude to her for her generous donation and sentiments expressed.  He said as a University, research is a vital part of its core mandate.  He acknowledged the importance of bilateral and scholarly collaboration which he said resulted in the funding of the Noguchi Advanced Laboratories by the government and people of Japan.  He said as a strategic facility, the Advanced Laboratories has in large measure contributing towards the country’s fight against the pandemic.

Professor Oduro Owusu advised that Ghanaians should exercise discipline in all spheres, adding that one of the lessons learnt in fighting the COVID-19 is that it would help in understanding the need for real independence as a nation.

“…As a nation, we also have to discipline ourselves. We need to understand why there is the need to pay tax for example.  If for nothing, COVID-19 has taught us that ‘each one for himself; God for us all’; and that no nation should depend solely on another nation.  So, when we talk about true independence, this is the time for nations to exhibit true independence. A time has come where we have to develop our indigenous knowledge and ensure that we utilize what we have.  This is my message through you to the government.”

Earlier, the Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang gave a background of the beginnings of the Institute.  He acknowledged the role played by Hideyo Noguchi whose work on yellow fever and his subsequent death led to the establishment of the Institute by the Japanese government in his memory. 

He reiterated the three core mandates of the NNMIR which are to:

  • conduct research into infectious and non-infectious diseases,
  • build capacity through training especially that of the next generation of    scientists but it doesn’t end there; also building the capacity of the health professionals,
  • provide specialized diagnostics in support of public health and also monitoring services.

He also noted that the Institute was on track in relation to its core mandates. According to the Director, NMIMR has acquired a global capacity and gained global recognition with high standards. He stated that the Institute has become a leader in West Africa with respect to research and has also been identified as a regional reference laboratory.

Prof. Anang intimated that in the wake of many countries lifting travel bans, it would be important to test travelers for COVID-19 leaving Ghana to other countries as most countries may require a clearance certificate before allowing travelers into their countries. 

While expressing profound gratitude to the Second Lady, he pledged the commitment of the Institute to use the items judiciously.  Prof. Anang also paid glowing tribute to the government for supporting the Institute during these challenging times.

The Second Lady formally presented the donation to the Vice-Chancellor, after which the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Rev. Prof. Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi moved the vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to the Second Lady and the SEHP for the kind gesture.

Present at the ceremony was the Director of Public Affairs, Mrs Stella A. Amoa, the Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement, Prof. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah who is currently the Chairman for the Board of Advisory for SEHP, faculty, administrators and staff of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.