Knust Vice Chancellor’s Speech at the Commissioning of the KNUST-International Vaccine Institute Collaborating Centre
The Honourable Minister of Health
The Presidential Advisor on Health
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea
Director General of the International Vaccine Institute
Director General Ghana Health Service
Deputy Director of Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Deputy Director of the International Vaccine Institute
Administrator, Agogo Presby Hospital
All our International Partners joining us today
Colleagues from the KNUST
All other protocols observed
It gives me great pleasure as Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to be part of this commissioning ceremony. Today the KNUST and International Vaccine Institute further strengthen our collaboration which has been ongoing since 2007 with the commissioning of this Research Centre.
This ceremony is another demonstration of Knust’s outstanding history of impactful collaborations with national and international institutions of higher learning and research. This again is also in furtherance of our mission of advancing science and technology through creating an environment for undertaking relevant research, quality teaching, entrepreneurship training and community engagement to improve the lives of our people.
This centre sits here today through the visionary leadership of knust scientists with the support of our community partners in Agogo, including chiefs, the hospital administration and the people of Asante Akyem. We say thank you to you.
Established in 1993 through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is an independent, non-profit, international organization founded on the belief that the health of children in developing countries can be dramatically improved by the use of new and improved vaccines.
It is involved in all aspects of bringing a vaccine to reality – discover new technologies to make vaccines, develop promising vaccine candidates for licensure and WHO pre-qualification by transferring technology to partners and building their capacity through technical assistance and capacity building to promote self-sufficiency and sustainability. The world is aware of the work IVI did in Asia on the Diseases of the Most Impoverished which led to vaccine development and deployment especially for Diarrhoeal diseases.
Today with the difficulties our Government and other Governments around the world are facing in procuring much needed Covid-19 vaccines, and with the determination of the Government of Ghana to go into vaccine production, this partnership between KNUST and IVI comes to augment the efforts of our Government.
Shortly after this commissioning, a phase IV typhoid fever vaccine trial will begin in this centre. Over the past 14 years, KNUST and IVI have worked on typhoid fever research in Ghana. They have adduced evidence on the high burden of typhoid fever in the country, the high cost of illness to individual families and the country, and importantly on the increasing microbial resistance to antibiotics used for treatment . With the prequalification of typhoid vaccines by WHO, this vaccine trial will assess the impact of the vaccine on typhoid illness, the safety of the vaccine and its immunogenicity. This will inform the country on the deployment of the vaccine. Similar trials are ongoing in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar.
The University is grateful to all partners supporting us in this – The European Union, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Cambridge, the Ghana Health Service, Food and Drugs Authority Ghana, Agogo Presby Hospital, people of Asante Akyem and importantly, the IVI.
Honourable Minister, this and many others is the contribution of the University to healthcare delivery in the country. We are happy to have you with us today and remind you not to forget us in the sharing of health education related resources. We importantly ask for your support in getting our University Hospital completed to support our teaching and service delivery efforts
Finally, to our College of Health Sciences, a couple of weeks ago the University through you won a grant of Euros 2.3 million for the establishment of a German-West Africa Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention. You have done us proud again today. Ayeeko, Provost to you and your faculty.
Thank you very much again for the opportunity to be with you this morning.Follow us on Twitter , Instagram, Facebook