Prof. Bockarie Delivers 5th Vice-Chancellor’s Occasional Lecture

Professor Moses Bockarie, delivering the Lecture

Professor Moses Bockarie, Director of the Liverpool Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases, UK, has delivered the 5th in the series of the Vice-Chancellors Occasional Lectures on the topic, “Recent Advances in Neglected Tropical Diseases Control”, at auditorium of the School of Public Health on the University of Ghana campus. 

Prof. Bockarie, noted that most of the 1.4 billion people worldwide affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD’s), live in hard to reach areas in Africa. He added that inhabitants of such communities have no access to doctors, drugs and health information, and suffer from extreme hunger. Prof. Bockarie decried the situation where many of the developing countries which suffer most from NTD’s lack the capacity to manage projects aimed at eradicating such diseases. He therefore emphasized on the need to invest in young people and empower them to develop ideas that will build on the current strategies being used in controlling NTD’s. He lauded researchers at the University of Ghana for the immense research work on NTD’s being undertaken.
He said the current control strategies for Neglected Tropical Diseases include empowering communities to treat themselves by volunteering to distribute and administer donated drugs. This strategy, he admitted, has worked well, since it is cost effective due to the use of volunteers in the communities. He added that the drugs are safe, efficacious, easily delivered and have limited resistance potential.
Focusing on Lymphatic Filariasis, a Neglected Tropical Disease commonly known as elephantiasis, Prof. Bockarie enumerated global efforts that have made at dealing with the disease, noting that between 2000 and 2011, 3.9 billion doses of medicines were delivered to a cumulative targeted population of 952 million people. He expressed optimism that despite being behind in the implementation of Mass Drug Administration, Africa is in a strong position epidemiologically to meet the targets for Lymphatic Filariasis elimination.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, who chaired the lecture said as an institution that is aspiring to world-class status, the University uses such lectures to interact with researchers who share new technologies and ways of doing things.


Prof. John O. Gyapong, Pro-VC, ORID

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research Innovation and Development, Prof. John O. Gyapong introduced Prof. Bockarie, with whom he has research collaborations. 

The 5th Vice-Chancellors occasional lecture comes after the lecture delivered by Prof. Spencer Shorte, Director and Executive Engineer of Imagopole, Institut Pasteur, on the topic, “Imaging Infection – Technology Innovation Driving Research toward the Benefit of Public Health”, in February this year. Since the lectures were instituted in May 2012, many distinguished academicians and researchers, such as Professor Michael Good, a NHMRC Australia Fellow at Griffith University and past Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Dr. Paul L. G. Vlek, the Executive Director of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use and Professor Peter Piot, the Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Second Recipient of the Noguchi Prize, and co-discoverer of the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976 and the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS, have delivered lectures.
Also present at the lecture was the Dean, School of Public Health, Prof Richard Adanu, Director, Public Affairs Directorate, Mrs. Stella Amoa, as well as some Senior Members of the University and students from the School of Public Health.

An attentive audience at the Lecture

Prof. Bockarie (third from right) in a pose with Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. John Gyapong, PRO-VC, ORID and Prof. Richard Adanu, Dean, School of Public Health