Njala Host Seminar on Ebola & Neglected Viruses

Prof Kawaoka

Professor Kawaoka Presentation


The infectious disease collaborators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Institute of Medical Sciences at University of Tokyo, Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka and team in collaboration with Njala University organized a day seminar on the topic: Studying Ebola Viruses and Neglected Viruses in Sierra Leone.

Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka was educated in Japan, receiving his DVM in 1978 and his PhD in 1983 from Hokkaido University. He has worked on Ebola and influenza viruses for more than 20 and 30 years, respectively. In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Kawaoka received the prestigious Robert Koch Award in 2006, and the Medal of Honor (Purple Ribbon) from the Emperor of Japan in 2011 for his innovative research in the field of influenza virology. In 2013, he was elected as a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Kawaoka is a world leading virologists and expert on Influenza, Ebola and major pandemic viruses.

The seminar was witnessed by lecturers and final year students in all programs (Public Health, Nursing, and Community Health Officers) at the School of Community Health Sciences, Bo Campus, Njala University. The Dean of the School, Dr. Rashid Ansumana welcomed the guests to Njala University on behalf of the Vice Chancellor and Principal, and asked all the Heads of Departments in the School and the representative from the Directorate of Research and Development to give an overview on their works and programs in their various departments. The following departments in the School were represented; Public Health, Nursing and Community Health.

Professor Alhaji N’jai, introduced the team from the University of Wisconsin and Tokyo and gave a brief overview on the purpose of the Seminar at Njala University.

Professor Kawaoka and his team did an impressive and forward looking thought power point presentations on the following topics:

1. Introduction of Research Collaboration and Background (Prof. Alhaji N’jai)

2. An overview of our work in Sierra Leone (Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka).

3. Ebola work done during the outbreak, Serology of Survivors and Close Contacts (Dr. Peter Halfmann)

4. Serology work for febrile cases to identify diseases prevalent in Sierra Leone (Dr. Tadashi Maemura)

5. Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV) and Virome analysis for unknown viruses (Dr. Tokiko Watanabe)

The presentations ended with a question and answer sections, where staffs and students from the school asked relevant questions towards the presentations and answers were provided accordingly.

The Grant and Partnership Officer Designate at the Directorate of Research and Development, Mr. Saffa Lansana gave a vote of thanks to the guests and all present.