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Opinions of Thursday, 23 April 2020

Columnist: Odelia Ntiamoah

Ghana must have a research fund

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I have been a board member for the CSIR Institutional Review Board for over 4 years. Contributing my quota as a communications person I feel this is the time that I am most useful.

This is the time where government has to be really serious with research. Sitting in the various meetings and speaking to researchers at Noguchi scientists I was told government spending in research is not more than 10%. The last time any proper investments were done in Nugochi was in 2009, 11 years ago.

From the scientists I spoke with indications were that foreign organisations with their varied interests put money into their research and take away the data or breakthroughs.

It’s time we got serious as a country.

Set up a research fund to investigate various diseases including a possible vaccine for malaria. Malaria is killing more children below 5, pregnant women, and older people, more than Corona. Yes, I reckon this is a national emergency but as part of the short to medium term solutions in the health sector, we cant do without research.

Set up a strong National Institutional.

Review Board where scientists can easily get permits to conduct research. If we want to make Ghana a pharmaceutical hub as we claim, then this is one of the ways.