One of the many institutions helping the government to get a grip over the spread and treatment of coronavirus is the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), others just call it Noguchi.
As the country continues to gather more test samples, it means scientists who work in institutions such as Noguchi are having to deal with the growing number of samples by the day.
Before Ghana first confirmed two cases of COVID-19 the staff of Noguchi and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) had been testing samples.
Last Sunday, President Akufo Addo said this week will be crucial in Ghana’s fight against coronavirus.
He said so because more than 19,000 samples have been collected through the Ghana Health Service’s Enhanced Testing mechanism, out of which the test results of more than 15,000 are expected this week.
This morning the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the results of more than 7,000 of the 15,000 samples are ready and 14 of the samples tested positive.
More test results are expected to come this week and it is the job of the staff of Noguchi to ensure that the results come through this week.
The increasing workload has meant that they had work 24/7 testing samples.
Noguchi has become central in the fight against coronavirus.
This 41-year-old research centre, under the sterling leadership of Prof Abraham Kwabena Annan has gallantly played its role in this country.
It’s staff is taking on all the risk so that they will help other governmental institutions to keep us safe.
In many ways the actions of this medical research centre and its staff are a testament to the Japanese researcher, Dr Hideyo Noguchi, who the institution is named after.
Dr Hideyo Noguchi moved to Accra in 1927 from Lagos upon the invitation of Dr. William Alexander Young, who was then the director of the British Medical Research Institute, Accra, Gold Coast.
Dr Noguchi was researching into Yellow Fever, however, he was unsuccessful. It turned out he had confused yellow fever with leptospirosis.
In May 1928, haven failed to find evidence for his theories on yellow fever, Noguchi was set to return to New York, but was taken ill in Lagos.
He boarded his ship to sail home, but on 12 May was put ashore at Accra and taken to a hospital. He had contracted yellow fever. He died later that same month in Accra on 21 May.
However, his research wasn’t entirely a failure. Because he had confused yellow fever with leptospirosis, the vaccine he developed against “yellow fever” was successfully used to treat leptospirosis.
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