2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures Begin

Prof. Rose Gana Fomban Leke, 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecturer

The 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures have begun at the University of Ghana. The three day lecture series is on the theme, ‘Science and Health in Africa’s Future Development’. This year’s lectures are being delivered by Prof. Rose Gana Fomban Leke, Professor of Parasitology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé 1, Cameroun.

Prof Leke, speaking on the topic, ‘Eliminating Infectious Diseases in Africa: Remaining Challenges’ noted that 65% of deaths in Africa are attributable to infectious diseases. She said malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections are major diseases plaguing and eliminating Africa’s precious resources. She enumerated past interventions such as vaccinations, mass drug administration and vector control that have been successfully used to fight diseases, and stressed on the need to change these interventions to respond to rapid changes that have complicated the epidemiology of many diseases on the one hand, and economic, political and social changes that have occurred on the other hand. Prof. Leke therefore, advocated for cooperation between programs, countries and regions as a prerequisite for any infectious disease elimination initiative in Africa, and the world.

Prof. Leke indicated that as the global response to public health epidemics of infectious diseases increases and economic conditions improve for countries south of the Sahara, Africans must take this opportunity to leverage their disease control efforts, notably by embracing an approach based on disease elimination.

She added that nations must also strive to face the remaining challenges of eliminating infectious diseases by addressing research priorities in infectious diseases, investing in building national and local health systems that operate in an integrated manner, addressing determinants of infections in communities, sustain economic growth and investments in education, health, peace and conflict resolution.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey

Earlier, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, who chaired the lecture, described Prof. Leke as an important resource to the University of Ghana, as it plans to establish a centre of excellence in Malaria research.

The lecture was attended by the Chairman of the University Council, Honourable Justice Dr. S.K.Date-Bah, Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Research Innovation and Development, Prof. John Gyapong, Registrar, Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia, Officials of the University, Alumni as well as members of the university community and the general public.

The 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures enters day two today. Prof. Leke will speak on the topic ‘Immunization: A critical Element in the Health Battles’. The session will be chaired by Hon. Justice Dr. S.K. Date-Bah, Chairman of Council.

The third day’s lecture is on the topic: Advancing Scientific Research for Health and Development in Africa which will be chaired by Prof. C.N.B. Tagoe, immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.

The 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures is sponsored by unibank.

The Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures were instituted in 1957 to commemorate the contribution made to the founding of Achimota College and the advancement of education, particularly higher education in Ghana. Many prominent personalities have mounted this prestigious platform and delivered lectures on a wide range of topics that cut across various disciplines.

From right, Honourable Justice Dr. S.K. Date-Bah, Chairman of Council, Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia, Registrar, Prof. Rose Gana Fomban Leke, 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecturer, Prof. J.I. Leke, husband of Prof. Rose Leke, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, and Prof. John Gyapong, Pro-VC, ORID.

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Guests at the Lecture