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UENR sets up applied biology research centre

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah
Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako (right), vice-Chancellor of UENR, inaugurating the centre
Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako (right), vice-Chancellor of UENR, inaugurating the centre

The University for Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani, has established a centre for Research in Applied Biology (CeRAB) to conduct research and provide high-end laboratory diagnoses of diseases for residents of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions and beyond.

The centre has the requisite machines and the capacity to perform COVID-19 test for people travelling outside the country as well as COVID-19 sequencing.

Included in the number of equipment installed are Standard F2400 (immunofluorescence analyser) and Radi Plus Extractor and PCR analyser which were donated by Codix Healthcare Limited at the cost of $35,000.

In all, the cost of equipment installed at the centre to enable it to conduct its researches and diagnosis of diseases is one million dollars.

Inauguration

At a ceremony to inaugurate the centre, the Director of the Centre, Professor Samuel Fosu Gyasi, said activities of universities should have impact on the lives of people in the areas where they had been established.

The research centre.

"Our research should be impactful", he stated, adding that the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) played a yeoman role in the fight against the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease.

"We are going to provide same services that Nouguchi and KCCR are providing and save people from this enclave and beyond from travelling afar to seek such services", he stated.

Prof. Gyasi said it was unfortunate that such high end research centres could be found only at the southern part of the country adding that the establishment of CeRAB had come at the right time for regions in the northern part of the country.

He added that the centre had gone through all the necessary protocols and received accreditation from the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HEFRA) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Quality human resource

Prof. Gyasi said the centre was also endowed with people who had terminal degrees in the various thematic areas such as microbiology, chemical pathology, immunology and physiology who could be relied upon for researches and diagnosis.

For his part, the Vice Chancellor of UENR, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, said the establishment of the CeRAB was in fulfilment of his vision to establish more centres to execute the mandate of the university.

"It is through the provision of services through such centres that UENR will be recognised both in Ghana and internationally as an educational institution of repute", he stated.

Professor Asare-Bediako said: "We want to enhance research", explaining that as an institution tasked with the mandate of finding proper ways of tapping the country's energy and natural resources, it behoved it to do just that.

"The exploitation of energy and natural resources sometimes resulted in diseases and we need to have a dedicated centre that could research and diagnose such diseases", he stated.

God-send opportunity

The Bono Regional Director of Health, Dr Kofi Amo-Kordieh, said the establishment of the centre at UENR was a God-send to the health institutions in the area.

"We would have saved more money used to send samples for analysis to Accra and Kumasi, if we had this centre at UENR at the onset of the COVID-19 disease", he said.

Dr Amo-Kordieh said even though the regional hospital and others had been provided with diagnostic equipment, "The third generation equipment installed at the centre was a blessing to healthcare delivery, among others in the area".

He said even though the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had an Untra-Cool Freezers in the region, the availability of other ones at the centre would provide additional opportunity for the storage of vaccines in the region.

Dr Amo-Kordieh thanked authorities of UENR for their vision and expressed the hope that both the government and non-governmental organisations would support the centre to enable it to rub shoulders with others both in Ghana and internationally.