April 18, 2011
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana has donated boxes of chocolates to the residents of Fukushima Prefecture who were affected by the turbulent earthquake that claimed thousands of lives in Japan. The donation was made through the Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr. Jiro Inamura, in Accra.
The Director of the Institute, Prof. Alexander Kwadwo Nyarko in a statement at the short ceremony which took place at the Institute said; ‘We identify with the people of Japan at this time. We share in their loss and regret the devastating destruction of lives and properties the earthquake has caused the country, especially residents of Fukushima'.
He revealed that: ‘The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has a strong bond with the Fukushima prefecture. It is notable to mention that Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, whom this Institute is named after, was born in Inawashiro in Fukushima. Dr. Noguchi was a great Japanese medical researcher who travelled to Ghana to study the cause of yellow fever. He died from yellow fever in 1928. Also, the first set of medical personnel who were sent from Japan to Ghana, came from Fukushima Medical University in 1969. The Government of Japan has contributed in significant ways to the activities of this Institute since its establishment in 1979 and the initial facilities of the Institute were built with a grant aid from the Government of Japan as a gift to the people of Ghana in memory of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi.'
Prof. Nyarko explained that the donation is meant to remind the good people of Fukushima that their friends in Ghana are thinking about them and wish them smooth recovery from the disaster.
Mr. Jiro Inamura expressed his profound gratitude to the Institute while receiving the boxes of chocolates on behalf of the people of Fukushima. According to him: ‘the people of Fukushima are grateful to your Institute for donating these boxes of delicious Ghana chocolates to them: the important message you are sending across to them is not quantity but solidarity. You are demonstrating to them that you feel their pain and loss. They are grateful to you and I believe as they eat these bars of chocolates, they will be renewed and have strength to survive and recover from the unfortunate disaster. Thank you and I will ensure that all the boxes are delivered to them safely.'
The donation is estimated at GHC 3,500 and was contributed by the staff and management of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Ghana is well-known in Japan as a big cocoa producer.