Ebola: Togo submits samples to Noguchi for testing

Officials from Togo have submitted blood samples taken from a suspected Ebola patient to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in Ghana for testing.

It is the first case from Ghana’s neighbour to be brought to the country’s leading biomedical research facility for testing since the outbreak of the deadly virus early this year.

Research Fellow in the Virology Department of NMIMR, Dr. Kofi Bonney disclosed this in an interaction with Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host, Kojo Yankson, which was broadcast Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

According to Dr Bonney, Noguchi has gained recognition as an “Ebola Centre” because of the professional manner it has conducted tests on samples from medical facilities in Ghana.

He said the facility which was set up in 1979 as a semi-autonomous institute of the University of Ghana, Legon, has the capacity to run tests on samples from other countries in the sub-region but upon instruction by government.

“So far we have received two samples from Togo that we’ve tested. We’ve not had any samples from elsewhere in Africa”.

“I don’t think it will be so much for us if we have to do testing of Ebola to help other countries…I don’t think it will be so much to do,” Dr. Bonney said.

To the relief of Ghanaians, Dr. Bonney said the test results on the samples from the country’s eastern neighbor came out negative.

He said, Noguchi has in recent times become synonymous to the Ebola disease because, it is the first port of call when there is a suspected case. 

It takes approximately six hours for the tests to be concluded on the blood samples. Over 80 samples have been tested from Ghana which have all come out negative.

“Now when you mention Noguchi everywhere they only think about Ebola; I think that is the only benefit that we get,” he remarked.

Listen to the interview Dr. Bonney granted Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show:

In a related development, TXT GHANA, a Software as a Service (SAAS) company, and other members of the Wireless Application Service Providers of Ghana (WASPAG) have made a donation of Ghȼ 50,000 to Noguchi in support of efforts to provide rapid testing and diagnostic kits for the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

It is the only support the facility has received to support efforts at ensuring the disease is contained should it be recorded in the country.

More than 3,000 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, as the deadly virus continues to spread in the region.

In an update, the United Nations health agency said 3,091 people had died of confirmed, suspected or probable cases of Ebola. A total of 6,574 cases have been reported.

The disease remains concentrated in three countries—Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone—which accounted for 3,083 of the deaths, according to data the WHO collected in September 23, 2014.

The WHO said four deaths were reported in the Liberian border district of Grand Kru, the first time the virus had been reported there. It also spread to the Kindia district in Guinea.

No new cases were reported in Nigeria or Senegal, two countries where the Ebola virus has been confirmed.

The WHO called exposure of health-care workers to the Ebola virus, which causes high fever and internal bleeding, “an alarming feature of this outbreak.” As of Sept. 23, 211 health-care workers had died from the Ebola virus, the WHO said. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | jerry.mordy[email protected]

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