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Noguchi Is Not Solution To Ebola – University Professor   
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The Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Ghana has indicated that the university is looking beyond the mere presence of Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research on its campus as it positions itself against Ebola.

Prof. John Gyapong, who is in-charge of Research, Innovation and Development at the University of Ghana, said that having Noguchi within the university does not mean Ebola cases would necessarily be cured.

He was responding to suggestions that the university is lucky to have Noguchi situated on its campus.

“We are lucky Noguchi is on our campus but it is not the solution to the problem of Ebola,” he emphasised on Joy News Thursday evening.

Prof. Gyapong stressed that the school is paying urgent attention to carrying out effective surveillance on the students.

He continued, “Noguchi will only tell us whether a suspected case is positive or negative. So yes, we have Noguchi but Noguchi is not the panacea to the problem of Ebola.”

Tertiary institutions in the country have been tasked by the Inter-ministerial Committee on Ebola to meet health requirements regarding the deadly disease, through which students would be protected.

Starting tomorrow, the major public universities will be re-opening for the 2014/2015 academic year.

The re-opening follows a decision by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to call off its protracted strike.

Members of the association laid down their teaching tools because the government had not paid them their book and research allowance, a situation which forced the universities to suspend re-opening.

Prof. Gyapong noted that the university has put in place some comprehensive measures to prevent the disease from entering the university.

He indicated that the university’s surveillance system has been strengthened to protect the lives of the more than 30,000 students.

He said there were other plans to detect and confirm suspected cases and confine the affected persons, as well as intensify public education on campus.

The university has developed an electronic risk assessment questionnaire, which would be used as part of the registration process to gather information on potential carriers of the disease.

“And by this, we are referring to our students and even staff members who have travelled to the epicenters that we are looking at, primarily Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The questionnaire asks certain questions which would lead us to make some determination on the level of risk that person poses.”

According to him, the registration process is captured directly to a database and so any potential carrier of the disease would easily be identified.

Some Sierra Leonean and Guinean nationals entering Ghana through the Burkina Faso border were turned away for failing to produce health certificates covering Ebola screening.

Three thousand cases and 1,500 deaths have been reported in five West African countries – Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal.

The World Health Organization has predicted there would be 20,000 more cases in the next six months before it is brought under control.
Source: myjoyonline.com

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