The two-day conference with the theme ‘’ Improving health through advanced research and training’’ brings together participants and researchers from some of the top research institutions in Africa, Europe and the United States to interact and share ideas and experiences.
Delivering the keynote address on “Capacity building for health research in Africa,”
Prof. Keith Gull, professor of molecular microbiology at Sir William Dun School of Pathology at the University of Oxford, noted that women are under represented in the world of science and urged them to take up careers in this field.
He revealed that although females make up 65% of enrolment in biological sciences at the undergraduate level in the UK, the challenge is that many leave the field, with only 12% remaining.
In order to address issues of funding for research, Prof. Gull advised African governments and Universities to develop mechanisms for leveraging funds from industry via easy co-sponsorship schemes.
Dr. Owen Laws Kaluwa, World Health Organization country representative for Ghana, emphasized that research is useful if it is translated to policy programing. He then called on government to adopt policies that are driven by research.
The Vice chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey who chaired the opening ceremony of the conference said, the university’s huge investment in research over the last six years is beginning to yield positive results. He said these investments are part of the plan to improve science and that “you cannot afford to ignore science for your economy to work.”
The director of WACCBIP, Doctor Gordon Awandare expressed his gratitude to the government of Ghana for signing up to the African Centres of Excellence Project which gave them the opportunity to establish WACCBIP. In addition, he noted that the rapid progress the Centre has made could not have been possible without the immense support and total commitment of the management of the University of Ghana.
WACCBIP was established in November 2013 and its mission is to improve diagnosis, prevention and control of infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa by providing advanced level training and research excellence on the cell and molecular biology of infectious pathogens.