“Eat Your Food as your Medicine, Otherwise you will have to Eat Medicines as your Food” – Dr. Michael Osae, GAEC

Dr. Michael Osae

He made this statement at the World Biodiversity Day celebration, held at the Academy of Arts and Sciences auditorium in Accra, on May 22, 2019.

This year’s celebration was on the theme: Promoting our Indigenous Foods and Medicines, a Catalyst for Achieving the Ghana beyond Aid Agenda

In his introductory statements at the panel discussion session of the programme, Dr. Osae said that as humans, we have the luxury of selecting from a myriad of flora and fauna as food and medicine, but we also have the responsibility of maintaining the ecological balance that exists in nature. “All life forms are interlinked and interdependent. Something may be eating one thing today but can itself be food for another tomorrow, and we have the responsibility to protect this food web,” he added.

He lamented that Ghanaians in particular have not cared much about our biodiversity. He indicated that the indiscriminate use of pesticides has ravaged the population of many of the indigenous beneficial insects found in Ghana and this can be catastrophic if care is not taken. “Without the insects, pollination of most crops may not take place and without pollination, fruits which bear the seeds for the next generation cannot be produced”, he explained.

Dr. Osae further stated that the invasion of foreign species such as the fall armyworm could be attributed to human practices that have made our region conducive to these pests. “It is our responsibility to safeguard our own biodiversity and to protect it from invasive species”, he said.

The programme was attended by the Minister and Directors of the Ministry Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), representatives from the Traditional Medicine Association, representatives from the agencies of MESTI including Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Scientists involved with the protection of Ghanaian indigenous foods, members from the media, among others .

Ghana Acquires Fully Automated Ultramodern Equipment for Monitoring of ‘Radon’ – A Lung Cancer Causing Agent

The Director General of GAEC Prof. B.J.B Nyarko inspecting the equipment at the RPI laboratory.

 

Ghana through the Radiation Protection Institute (RPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has taken delivery of a top-of-the-range fully automated ultramodern laboratory equipment for monitoring radon gas.

The equipment Radosys RadoMeter 2000, is a system that comes with full laboratory solutions for measuring deadly radon gas (which is the second leading cause of lung cancer apart from smoking) levels. It has an inbuilt fully automated Radosys Watch Dog software, Microscope, CR-39 passive detectors, among others.

Radosys RadoMeter 2000 laboratory equipment for measuring radon gas

In a short ceremony held at GAEC, in Accra, to officially receive the items, the Director of RPI, Prof. E.O Darko, disclosed that Ghana is now at par with top laboratories in Europe, Asia, North America and the rest of the world to ensure safe radon levels in offices, residential buildings as well as the mining, oil and gas, and other extractive industries.

“The facility is an ultra-modern device that will be used to measure the concentrations (levels) of Radon Gas in Buildings (i.e. homes, offices, factories etc.), underground mining sites, among others”, he added.

Prof. Darko explained that the facility is environmentally friendly and can perform multiple tasks concurrently in real time.

“This has by far taken away the troubles of manual sample analysis and it can measure approximately 400 to 1600 exposed detectors in a day”, he revealed.

A Senior Research Scientist at RPI, Dr. Francis Otoo, who initiated the project, said GAEC has now met all the conditions necessary to launch a nation-wide radon monitoring exercise as well as mapping campaigns in Ghana and neighboring countries.

He disclosed that as part of the process to start using the equipment, a radon specialist from Radosys Atlantic, Portugal, helped in the installation of the equipment and also engaged selected RPI Scientists and Technologists in a weeklong training programme on its use.

Dr. Otoo stated that GAEC is not keen on the financial benefits of the facility per se, but is focused on finding solutions or reducing the risks associated with deadly radon gas which comes as a result of the decay of naturally occurring uranium present in the soil. This gas then emanates into enclosed areas such as rooms, offices, mining sites, etc. and can cause lung cancer in exposed persons.

The Director General of GAEC, Prof. BJB Nyarko, in a short statement commended RPI for the establishment of the laboratory and said this development has placed Ghana ahead of other African countries as part of efforts to enhance health and safety in radiation monitoring.

The radon Specialist, Paulo Gustavo Alecrim Norte Pinto, from Radosys Atlantic, Portugal, also commended Ghana for taking this bold step to obtain this multi-tasking automated RadoMeter 2000 facility. He expressed confidence in the rich human resource available at GAEC, and said he has no doubt that the facility will be fully utilized by Ghana.

He called on other African countries to emulate Ghana’s example to help fight lung cancers as a result of inhalation of this deadly gas.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey, Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA)-GAEC