Pe Denis Aneakwoa Balinia Adda Asagpaare II, the Paramount Chief of the Navrongo Traditional Area in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region, says the Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) is an asset to the people of the area.
He said the Centre had massively impacted on healthcare delivery of the people in his Traditional Area, the Upper East Region and the entire country since its establishment over the years, “With the presence of the Centre, almost everyone in Navrongo has basic education on health.”
The Navro-Pio said this when a team of journalists from the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) called on him at his Palace as part of a four-day field trip to the NHRC for the Network’s health advocacy work.
According to him, there was an improvement in the health indicators in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality as compared to other districts in the Upper East Region owing to the presence of the NHRC.
The Paramount Chief also noted that the NHRC in 2016 constructed and equipped an Emergency Ward for the War Memorial Hospital to improve health service delivery in the Municipality.
“The Center has come to help not only the people of Navrongo, but the whole country. We, the people of Navrongo, are very fortunate to have it here,” he said, and commended the management of the Center for working to improve health delivery in the Region and Ghana at large.
He said in the midst of unemployment in the country, the NHRC had significantly engaged a number of the youth and reduced the unemployment levels in the area, adding that, the Center had also educated residents on basic health conditions, especially malaria.
Dr Charity Binka, the Executive Secretary of AMMREN said the team of journalists were committed to the fight against malaria in the country, and had written several articles on malaria to educate members of the public on the disease.
She said the visit to the Centre by the journalists drawn from selected media outlets to form the network, was supported by the NHRC to enable the journalists to abreast themselves with activities of the Center.
Dr Patrick Odum Ansah, the Acting Director of the NHRC who earlier briefed the journalists on their activities, said the NHRC started as a Field Station in 1988, and subsequently became a Research Centre in 1992 with current staff strength of 450, out of which 50 were on the government payroll.
He said the vision of the NHRC was to be a Centre of excellence by systematically conducting high quality health and social research to inform policy decisions, “This we try to do over the past 30 years and we are moving into a new era of perfecting what we have been doing.”
The Acting Director said the Center’s activities covered all five Regions of Northern Ghana, namely the Savannah, Northern, Upper West, North East and Upper East Regions, and further disclosed that the Centre in September 2020, investigated 7,825 samples for COVID-19, out of which 831 cases came out positive.
The journalists as part of their four-day visit to the NHRC interacted with Doctors and Scientists of the facility and were taken on a tour to various laboratories including the Biomedical Science laboratory and the Clinical Trials Centre, among other departments.