The Maksegnit Malaria Research Center was commemorated and inducted for work on 27 November 2017. With a ribbon cutting that finally opened its doors to the public, this decades old concept of public health in the malaria field was finalized.
The University of Gondar, since its inception, has been a main power house when it comes to the medical sphere. Gondar’s Public Health College and Training Center which was established in 1954, and which is UoG’s predecessor, made its living and groundwork fighting malaria.
Those who were present to celebrate in the milestone were UoG president Dr. Desalegn Mengesha, UoG higher officials, vice presidents of various Amhara universities, representatives from the Ministry of Health and zone and state health officials.
Dr. Harold Noedl, Prof. at Medical University of Vienna, Australlia, Mrs. Sophie Biguenet, medical director at Medicine Malaria Venture (MMV) and Mrs. Hilary Johnston, University of Capetown were also in on the festive day and delivered keynote speeches.
Malaria was a threat to the entire region decades ago and the University of Gondar was on first call to fight the epidemic. Dr. Desalegn in his opening speech referenced the long standing history of UoG and Malaria. Even though the current university is far removed from the 1950’s and has progressed it is the skeletal structure and establishment of the public health college that initiated the fight.
“Since 1954 and the malaria outbreak that ravaged the Lake Tana area,” Dr Desalegn said, “ the University of Gondar has been doing plenty to tackle the spread of the disease.” By training the right practitioners of that era UoG made a sizable impact in the lives of thousands.
In addition the president of the university hinted at the fact that by giving medical assistance, doing research and by training international medics, the University of Gondar is doing far above expectations. The president of the university also gave special thanks to UoG’s partners and for those who participated in bringing this research center into reality.
To stop the spread and prevent the disease from ever reaching the same levels as decades ago UoG is working with partners from home and abroad. The agreements that were signed between international and national partners a year ago are a testament to the commitment that is being taken to eradicate any such issue from ever arising in the near or distant future.
To cap off the event the university’s president gave a recognition award to the various stakeholders and partners who helped along the way. The Maksegnit Malaria Research Center, located in Gondar zuria woreda, is now operational and its construction and material needs have been fully furnished to sustain the cause at hand.
By Belay Mesfin| Public & International Relations Directorate
Translated by Samuel Malede| Public & International Relations Directorate