A team of researchers from Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Basel, Switzerland paid a two- day working visit to the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho (UHAS). The purpose of the visit was to conclude discussions on a collaborative research between Norvatis and UHAS on Sickle Cell Disease in the Volta Region of Ghana.
Professor John Owusu Gyapong, the Vice-Chancellor of UHAS in his welcome address assured the team of the total commitment of the University to the collaboration and urged the Norvatis team to also hold the project in a very high esteem. The Vice-Chancellor said the collaboration is in furtherance of the vision of UHAS which is a pre-eminent health research educational institution dedicated to community service. He stated that the University is committed to attracting and developing excellent approaches for the reduction of tropical diseases of which sickle cell disease happens to be one.
The Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Theophilus Christian Fleischer, in his submission talked about his wonderful experience with the Norvatis Next Generation Scientists programme whilst at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology - Kumasi , Ghana and believes the same benefits will accrue to UHAS.
Professor Peter Atadja who is the Dean of School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences, UHAS and doubles as the Executive Director, Drug Discovery at Norvatis, expects that the collaboration will help in building a strong working relationship between UHAS and Norvatis which will in turn enable the two institutions to undertake further vital biomedical studies in the Volta Region of Ghana and beyond.
During the working visit, the Norvatis team collectively made presentations on Exploring Efforts to help Combat Sickle Cell Disease in Africa and Participation in African Clinical Trials Network, among others.
The Norvatis team was made up of Jonathan Spector (Head, Global Health), Sandra D. Felix (Manager, Global Health), Marcelo Gutiérrez (Head, Global Scientific Development) and Sherri Schwaninger (Project and Operations Director, Global Health).
The following were some of the UHAS team members: Professor Peter Atadja (Dean, School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences, UHAS and Executive Director, Drug Discovery at Norvatis),
Dr. Kokou H. Amegan-Aho (Lecturer, School of Medicine), Dr. Kwabena Duedu (Lecturer, School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences), Prof Evelyn Ansah (Director, Centre for Malaria Research, Institute of Health Research), Professor Margaret Gyapong (Director, Centre for Health Policy and Implementation Research, Institute of Health Research).
Among the UHAS functionaries that welcomed the Norvatis team were Professor Theophilus Christian Fleischer (Pro-Vice-Chancellor), Dr. Cynthia Sena Kpeglo (Registrar), Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments.