COVID-19, though a major threat to human survival, continue to invoke the ingenuity of research scientists, virologists and other professionals.
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana, has been the foremost institution since Ghana’s first case on march 12. Director of the Institute Abraham Anang, says Ghana is about weeks away from developing drugs for covid 19.
According to professor Anang, the culture systems are being established for pre-clinical studies experiment, which will take eight weeks.
“And this genomes sequencing provides us with another opportunity to leverage research and we are beginning to look at how we can extend that information and capability into the identification of new drugs especially from herbal origins, traditional medicines origins into the identification of what is the epidemiology, the spread and distribution and severity of the disease. How is it in the country? We are beginning to look at how we can leverage this data,” he said.
Professor Anang reiterated that the institute had to partner with other allied bodies to set up a platform for diagnoses for detection.
“As far as the development of some medicinal products for the treatment of covid-19 we are weeks away from pre-clinical studies. Once our culture systems are well established and we start doing those experiments it should be in few weeks let say maximum eight weeks, we should be there already.
“If the product is something that has been registered by the food and drugs authority, and it is already well established what it is then it would be even easier to move it forward,” Anag added.
He said Ghana government contribute by, providing financial bases for the recruitment and support of the scientists.
“We are still on the drawing board, we haven’t gone far into developing new vaccines to be introduce into people. We are now looking more at the information and trying to look at how to design such a vaccine.
“Fortunately, now we have quite a number of infections in the country, over 2,000 people and a lot of material are available. But let me also add that at the university of Ghana Noguchi memorial institute for medical research, we have very high standards of research established with federal wide assurance of meeting the standards of the united states of America for example”
The institution was established in 1979 in memory of a Japanese scientist, Hideyo Noguchi, who died of yellow fever in 1928, a year after arriving in Ghana a to help fight yellow fever.
The Institute remains one of the leading centres for scientific testing and medical research for various epidemics.