IT Consortium and UGMC to raise funds for West Africa in -Patient Clinic Trails

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IT Consortium, one of Africa’s leading fintech firms and the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) have launched an initiative to raise GHS50 million to build the first ever in-patient clinical trials unit in West Africa at Medical and Scientific Research Centre (MSRC) of UGMC. 

The initiative was launched with a Benefits Concert on December 8, 2023 at the car park of UGMC, which featured some of Ghana’s finest gospel music ministers such as Joe Mettle, Nii Okai, KODA, the evergreen Joyful Way and the UGMC Choir.

In an interview, Research Fellow and Clinical Trials Coordinator at the MSRC, Dr. Gifty Medeama noted that clinical trials are a very critical part of healthcare delivery, because it provides the opportunity to test new drugs, new diagnostic/medical devices and new medical procedures on humans before they are actually approved for use at scale.

According to her, what happens very often is that clinical trials are done outside of Africa and on Caucasians so there is often no certainty as to whether those drugs, devices or procedure will be efficient in Africa, but Africans are compelled to just accept and use them anyway.

She said the proposed in-patient clinical trials unit is therefore intended to attract all the big pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and others around the world to come to UGMC and do their clinical trials on our clients so that more efficient drugs, devices and procedures can be developed with precision and specifications for Africa and Africans.

“UGMC has proven during the peak of the Covid season that we have what it takes to provide the best of medical care based on research and this is yet another opportunity to deepen our research and ensure we deliver even better healthcare to Ghanaians and Africans as a whole,” she said.

Dr. Gifty Medeama said not only would the clinical trials ensure that Ghana has the best and cutting edge drugs for the treatment or all conditions, but also provide the opportunity for the medical personnel at UGMC to be trained to offer the best of services.

“We have also taken advantage of the location of the unit – close to the Noguchi Memorial Centre for Scientific Research to have access to all the necessary specialists, clients and even students to ensure that it provides a wholistic benefit to the entire ecosystem,” she said.

Franklin Eleblu, Chief Solutions Architect at IT Consortium, said the company’s motivation to partner UGMC on the clinical trials unit initiative stems from the fact that for the first time clinical trials were going to be done on Africans to develop drugs, devices and procedures that suit specific needs of Africans.

He said IT Consortium is making its Chango crowdfunding platform available to help reach more people around the world with donations to help reach the GHS50 million target faster.

“UGMC informed us all the money is being raised through local effort and so we thought it wise to come onboard with Chango which was specifically built for purposes like this one in a more transparent manner,” he said.

As part of the fundraiser, IT Consortium has set up a Public Fund on it Chango App as part of channels via which people can donate. So far, the Chango App has raked in GHS126,836 with GHS2,419 pledges.

Meanwhile, there are other channels via which individuals and institutions can donate. They include short code *887*222# and also on the UGMC website:

 

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