JICA, Noguchi train African healthcare professionals to combat infectious diseases


The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), a constituent of the College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, is collaborating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to train 15 healthcare professionals from 10 West and Central African countries in modern laboratory technology to enhance their skills in combating infectious diseases.

The participating countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Democratic Republic of Congo.  The course, which is funded by JICA and implemented by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, will be held for eight weeks from August 8, 2022 to September 30, 2022 at the Institute.

The course will help biomedical scientists become more knowledgeable and proficient in infectious disease diagnosis. It will also make them familiar with modern laboratory equipment and foster networking across African nations on advanced laboratory administration.

Participants will learn the most recent advancements in virology, parasitology, and bacteriology as well as biosafety and laboratory quality management procedures. The diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative capabilities of participating countries’ medical facilities or laboratories will also be enhanced by this training.

Success stories from previous trainings (held for 42 professionals between 2019 and 2021) show that aside training their colleagues in their respective countries, the knowledge and skills gained through the training enabled ex-participants to effectively support their countries response against the COVID-19 pandemic especially in the areas of surveillance, ample collection, and RNA extraction and testing etc.

This year’s training will build on this success with the expansion of the participating countries to Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), two Central African countries, and potentially increase the reach to other African countries in the future.

JICA and NMIMR remain committed to providing world-class biomedical research for improved health care outcomes and capacity development to Ghana and the rest of Africa. The Japanese Government, along with JICA continues to support Ghana’s efforts at providing affordable, high quality universal healthcare, and will continue to partner with NMIMR future trainings and other projects such as the new technical cooperation on Improving Quality Laboratory Management Systems.

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