The Research and Grant Institute of Ghana has called on the government to invest part of the COVID-19 TRUST FUND in research to enable Ghana build capacity.
In a statement signed by the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr. Samuel Adjorlolo, it was suggested that if the suggestions by the former President John Dramani Mahama for the consideration of local tradition medicine in the fight against Covid-19 would work, research must play a vital role. “The recent call by the Former President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for authorities to explore the usefulness of traditional medicine in the fight against COVID-19 can only be materialized with research into, for instance, the pharmacology of local herbs and other resources”, the statement stated.
Ghana is currently experiencing increasing cases of Covid-19 resulting in the imposition of restrictions on the movement of people in parts of the country. The Institute suggests that Ghanaian researchers have the expertise to make contributions towards finding solutions to problems facing the country.
Read full statement below:
SUPPORT COVID-19-RELATED RESEARCH WITH COVID-19 TRUST FUND-16th April, 2020
1. The Research and Grant Institute of Ghana is an independent and non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the generation, dissemination, and utilization of research in Ghana and beyond.
2. Following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Ghana and partial lockdown of hotspot areas, the government of Ghana established COVID-19 Trust Fund (henceafter the Fund) to solicit for support in the fight against the pandemic.
3. Several organizations and individuals have made significant donations to the Fund which has supported efforts to trace, test and treat COVID-19 cases, as well as provide social interventions to alleviate the sufferings of citizens in lockdown areas.
4. While we are solidly supportive of the humanitarian use of the Fund, we also want to draw the attention of government to COVID-19-research as another important area to support with the Fund.
5. Undoubtedly, local data and insight into COVID-19 would play instrumental roles in the preventative, containment and treatment measures against the pandemic.
6. The recent call by the Former President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for authorities to explore the usefulness of traditional medicine in the fight against COVID-19 can only be materialized with research into, for instance, the pharmacology of local herbs and other resources.
7. Social and behavioral scientists can help to develop evidence-based theory of COVID-19 behavior change to address the drivers of fears, stigmatization, misinformation and poor adherence to infection prevention control protocols, including social distancing in the country.
8. More specifically, pertinent research issues from different scientific disciplines relating to COVID-19 in Ghana has not been granted the needed scholarly attention largely because of funding issues.
9. Ghanaian scientists and researchers have the requisite expertise and technical know-how to conduct advanced research using contemporary and robust methodological designs. This was demonstrated by Professor Gordon Awandare and his team at the University of Ghana when they successfully sequenced the genome of the novel coronavirus.
10. The research centers of excellence located in the leading universities in Ghana, such as the University of Ghana and KNUST with the capacity to advance our understanding of COVID-19 are operating below capacity due to funding issues.
11. We are appealing to government to set aside at least 15% of the Fund to support COVID-19 related research and innovation in the country.
12. The Research and Grant Institute of Ghana is available and willing to support a national discourse on COVID-19 research priorities, as well as disburse and manage Fund dedicated to support COVID-19-related research in the country.
End of release.
Dr. Samuel Adjorlolo