By Chioma Obinna
Medical Laboratory and research scientists from across West Africa will this week converge in Ghana to deliberate on how West Africa can build needed local capacity for the manufacturing of vaccines and other medical products in the sub-region.
The annual conference tagged CelebrateLAB West Africa 2022, which is the 8th in the series will bring together 150 onsite delegates and hundreds of virtual participants from across the West Africa sub-region, comprising medical laboratory and research professionals, academia, regulators, policymakers, and medical product manufacturers and suppliers.
With the theme: “Ensuring Diagnostic Capability and Vaccine Sufficiency as Panacea to Combating Infectious Diseases in West Africa”, the conference which holds at Alisa Hotel in Accra, Ghana, from 20 –21 April will focus on building laboratory capacity in the area of human resources, clinical research and vaccine and other medical products manufacturing in West Africa.
In après statement, signed on behalf of the organisers, Ms Efam Dovi, Former President of Liberia, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to deliver the keynote address, to stress the need to strengthen health systems across West Africa, by applying the lessons learnt from the current COVID-19 pandemic and previous disease outbreaks, to prepare the region’s health systems beyond the current pandemic. Ghana’s Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is the special guest of honour.
Other speakers at the conference will include eminent scientists from Nigeria such as: Air Cidre. Edward Akinwale, Laboratory Quality Assurance Manager, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), Nigeria; Prof. James Damen, National President Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria; Dr Mohammed Abdulaziz, Director Division of Disease Control and Prevention, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC); Blessing Ekanem Udoh, Medical Laboratory Specialist, National Professional Officer Laboratory World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria and Prof. Adeola Oluboyo Professor of Chemistry Pathology Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Afe Babalola University;
Other Nigerian speakers among several other experts from the West Africa sub-region also include Prof. Oluyemi Akinloye a professor of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnosis and dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences College of Medicine of the University of Lagos; Mad. Ellen Munemo, Team Lead, Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDD) and Paul Eniola Oluniyi Research Fellow African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemer’s University.
CelebrateLAB West Africa 2022 is being organised by Africabio Enterprises Inc., in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists, and co-hosted by the Ghana Health Service under the distinguished leadership of its Director-General, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, and the Akai House Clinic, with support from the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.