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Biological Scientists urged to join fight against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Amos Laar - Professor of Public Health Nutrition, University of Ghana

A Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Ghana, Amos Laar, has charged Biological Scientists to join the fight against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the country.

Delivering a keynote lecture on the topic, “Non-Communicable Diseases on the Rise; The Role of the Biological Scientist in Curbing the Menace,” at the 2023 Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa Prof. Laar, said biological scientists have a crucial role to play in the fight against what has been described as the silent pandemic. The event was organized by the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Ghana on Tuesday, June 14 2023.


Re-echoing words of the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Prof Laar said “If we are to win the war against premature deaths caused by NCDs, we must also win the battles in our kitchens, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, schools …. We must make it easier for people to make healthy choices, and harder to make unhealthy choices.”

He noted that Biological Scientists can contribute to winning the war by generating evidence, curating the evidence, and availing the evidence needed for the fight against NCDs. Among others, their studies on the molecular, genetic, and cellular aspects of these diseases, and identifying key factors, pathways, and biomarkers that can be targeted for prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment.

He also urged the scientists to dare to be scholar-activists by contributing to health education and awareness campaigns, by contributing to health advocacy and by translating complex scientific concepts into understandable language as well as have the courage in the face of commercial determinants of health and big food industries.

Referring to data from the WHO, Prof. Amos Laar noted that NCDs kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 74% of all deaths globally. Noting that “17 million people die from NCDs before age 70 – annually; 86% of these premature deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.”

The Scientific Renaissance of Africa celebration was instituted after African Union in 1987 passed a resolution for the celebration of the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA) on 30th June each year.

The core objective of the celebration is to remind African governments and people about the critical roles played by Science and Technology in national development. This is also done in remembrance of the continent’s contribution to the rise and development of modern Science and Technology.

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