Dr. Kwaku Poku Asante
Director of the Kintampo Health Research Center (KHRC), Dr. Kwaku Poku Asante, has called on stakeholders to invest in building the clinical trial capacity of the country.
He said this would make the country self-reliant in medicines’ trials before they are licensed and introduced to the market for public use.
“In the past, we received vaccines or medication tested elsewhere and registered by our regulatory authorities for use by the public. But it is time for us to be involved in clinical research to find solutions to our health challenges,” he said.
Dr. Asante said this during a field trip by members of the African Media and Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) to the center as part of activities to commemorate the 2022 World Malaria Day.
He said although the country has advanced in clinical research which has resulted in major health policy changes, there remains more to be done.
“So, we call on various collaborators and the government to invest into clinical trials… we also call on pharmaceutical companies and biomedical scientists to collaborate with us so we try the medicines for the benefit of all,” he stated.
Dr. Asante indicated that the center has in the past focused on infectious diseases, including malaria, meningitis, and diarrhea which have influenced the adoption of key medicines by the health service.
“The clinical trial in meningitis in the Northern part of the country and Kintampo has brought about the vaccine being used today. Also, a clinical trial in drugs for anti-malaria is what informed the policy change from Chloroquine to Artesunate Amodiaquine or Lumefantrine,” he noted.
Dr. Asante said the centre has started collaborating with the University of Ghana (UG) and other universities to train students in clinical research.
“The collaboration allows for students from these universities to understudy the clinical trials that we do here with the hope of building capacity and their interest in clinical research,” he added.
Dr. Asante further expressed his appreciation to the population that has supported the center in its research activities over the years.
“We say thank you to the population of Kintampo North and South, Techiman, Nkoranza, and Wenchi, for sacrificing your time and energy to participate in our research activities,” he added.