The Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof Johnson Nyarko Boampong, has called on government to swiftly implement the National Research Fund to enable the academia, especially scientists, conduct research into the treatment of malaria.
“The Fund should be resourced and then the academia will be challenged to do the research” he added.
Prof Boampong was speaking at his inaugural lecture on the topic: “Malaria Treatment Failures: what can we do?”
The Vice-Chancellor asked for a national call to challenge scientists to do more critical research that could be translated into sustainable national development.
Currently, the Ghana National Research Fund Bill is before Parliament. When passed, the Act would ensure that at least one percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is set aside for Research and Development (R&D) activities.
Prof. Boampong said despite the progress, malaria continued to pose the greatest health risks in Ghana and Africa as everyone was at risk. The Vice-Chancellor noted that malaria was an illness that had caused so much damage to many lives and families and as such, there was an urgent need for it to be tackled.
He described malaria as the "ruling champion" because of its resistance to anti-malaria drugs. Consequently, Prof. Boampong stressed the need to come up with new ideas to overcome the scourge of malaria, and to also maximise current strategies. He said although the efficacy of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) remained high, drug resistance to malaria had increased.
"Therefore, there is an urgent need to discover new anti- malaria drugs and we better prepare to find some drugs in reserve” Prof. Boampong cautioned, adding; “…Ghana, it is important for us to do that or we all die of Malaria."
In his remarks, the Chairman of the UCC Council, Prof. Obeng Mireku, who chaired the event, explained the University periodically organised the inaugural lectures in recognition of contributions of academics on their promotion to the rank of Professor and also served as a platform for new professors to share some insights into their innovative research over the years.
He was of the firm hope that an effective malaria vaccine would be developed by scientists to save humanity from the scourge of malaria.
The well-attended event was graced by some past Vice-Chancellors of UCC, principal officers of the University, members of academia, traditional rulers, students and a host of other personalities.
Who is Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong?
· Born at Asante Akyem South District in the Ashanti Region and had his Primary education at Ofoase Presbyterian School in the same district.
· Started his secondary education at New Edubiase Secondary School in 1979.
· Completed Bompata Secondary School for his Ordinary Level Certificate in 1984.
· Attended Kumasi Academy from 1984 to 1986 for his Advanced Level Certificate.
· Attended UCC between 1988-1992 and obtained a BSC Degree and Diploma in Education
· Taught Biology and Core Science at Labone Secondary School (1992-94) and Kumasi High School (1998-2001) respectively.
· Obtained BPharm degree from KNUST between 1997-2001 and a PhD in Tropical Medicine from Tokyo Women's Medical University, Japan from 2004 to 2007.
· Promoted to full-fledged professor in 2016.
· Appointed UCC Vice-Chancellor in 2020.
.Source: Documentation and Information Section-UCC