Meet Our Ambassadors
Air Commodore Edward Abayomi Akinwale (Rtd)
Air Commodore Edward Abayomi Akinwale (Rtd) is a Fellow Member of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria. He holds a Master's degree in Biochemistry, a Master's degree in Public Administration, and PhD in Haematology. He is a Certified Laboratory Auditor of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. He was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in December 1985 and rose to the rank of Air Commodore in December 2009. He voluntarily retired from the NAF in October 2015. During his tour of duty in the NAF, he commanded most of the medical laboratories in the Service. He is the author of the book titled ‘A Guide for Unlocking SLIPTA Checklist and ISO 15189’- A preparation tool for 5-star performance towards international accreditation of medical laboratories. After retiring from the Nigerian Air Force, he has been working with the Henry Jackson Foundation, US Military HIV Research Program Nigeria as the Laboratory Quality Assurance Manager overseeing the research laboratories across West Africa.
Kwame Asante, an ASCP certified Medical Laboratory Scientist received his undergraduate degree in 2000 in Virginia, USA. Over the years, he worked as a generalist in several clinical laboratories in departments such as Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, Blood Bank, and Microbiology. He later joined the Georgia Public Health Laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia in 2005, where he was part of the Immunology Department and the bioterrorism unit that performed testing on suspected white powder for anthrax. He was later the Science Lead and Program Manager for the BioWatch surveillance program across the U.S. With his Master’s in Business Administration degree, he pursued opportunities with several U.S. Federal agencies as Program Manager. Kwame Asante joined the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute in 2016 as a Program Manager overseeing Quality Management Systems activities in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. In 2018, he joined the Association of Public Health Laboratories and relocated to Ghana as Technical Lead to support PEPFAR and GHSA funded activities. Kwame is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health.
Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe
Disease Surveillance Department
Ghana Health Services
Dr. Ignatius A. N. Awinibuno
Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS)
Nene Salamata Bah
Nene Salamata Bah is a Senior Lab Technologist at the National Service of Occupational Medicine, Guinea. She holds a master's degree in Medical Biology from Gamal Abdel Nasser University, Conakry, Guinea.
Dr. Alexander Yaw Debrah
Alexander Yaw Debrah is an Associate Professor of Parasitology and Global Health at the Department of Medical Diagnostics and the Dean of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. He holds a Master’s in Clinical Microbiology and PhD in Medical Parasitology. He became a lecturer at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences at KNUST in 2007, where he teaches Medical Parasitology at the Medical School and the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences. He has held a number of positions at the KNUST, including Head of Department and the Dean of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences.
He is also a research scientist and has over 50 publications in peer reviewed journals. He has received a number of international awards including American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Travel Award in 2007, a nomination by VW Foundation of Germany to attend a forum of Nobel laureates and young promising scientists in Lindau, Germany in 2010, the prestigious bi-annual main prize of the German Paul-Ehrlich-Society for anti-infective therapy (“PEG”) in 2013 and the German “Momento Research” Prize of 2015 for Neglected Tropical diseases (NTDs). He has also won both Junior and Senior fellowships of European Foundation Initiative on Neglected Tropical Diseases (EFINTD) and EDCTP Senior fellowship award (2020).
He has a number of ongoing research activities sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, European Commission, European Foundation Initiative on Neglected Tropical Diseases (EFINTD), VW Foundation of Germany and German Research Foundation (DFG) of Germany, EDCTP among others.
He has held a number of international positions including being a member and co-Chair of the planning committee of Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) of the American Society of Microbiology from 2014-2016. He was the first African to hold this position since the formation of ICAAC about 60 years ago.
Prof. Debrah has research collaborations with many international universities including the University of Bonn, Bernhard Nocht Institute of Hamburg, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, and the University of Buea in Cameroon among others.
Kassaye Tekie Desta (MSc, MPH & PhD)
Kassaye Tekie Desta is a senior Laboratory Scientist and certified public health professional with 18 years of technical and managerial experience in diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical quality control laboratories, hospital management, and health science colleges. Kassaye holds an MSc degree in Medical Microbiology from Addis Ababa University, Faculty of Medicine, Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD in Health Science from the University of South Africa. From 2011-2017, He worked for Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Liberia and Ethiopia as a laboratory specialist. From 2009 to 2011, He worked as a national quality assurance manager for the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI); former Ethiopian Research and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) seconded by CHAI Ethiopia. From 2011-2017, He provided the necessary support for the completion of several in-service training in HIV point of care testing, HIV 1 DNA PCR for Early Infant Diagnosis and Viral load testing in Ethiopia and Liberia as well as several laboratory quality management system trainings. Kassaye led the Initiation of the first HIV molecular test at the national reference laboratory of Liberia and the first MTB/RIF GeneXpert testing in Liberia.
Candace B. Eastman, CEO and founder of Africabio Enterprises Inc., began her professional career as a bench scientist and worked in all areas of the clinical laboratory. She also worked as a bench scientist for biotechnology companies before taking on more managerial roles in quality management systems. She focused the majority of last 20 years of her profession in business development. She built strategic relationships with firms whose products were at various phases of clinical development in the U.S, as well as building experience in W. Africa.
She holds an MBA with a concentration in strategic management from Johns Hopkins University.
At the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in the U.S, she worked alongside the Midwest Investor Network to showcase economic development efforts to companies in other parts of the country, which resulted in a fertile ground for new life science investment opportunities in Mid-America. She assisted in starting up BIO Ventures for Global Health. In W. Africa, she’s worked in various leadership positions in Liberia’s Ministries of Health (MoH) and Commerce. As the Director of the National Diagnostic Unit of MoH, she spearheaded the creation of the first strategy and national policy.
As Liberia's Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, she created avenues for trade mainstreaming and led the development of Liberia's export strategy of agricultural products. As Founder of Africabio Enterprises, her diverse range of experience has allowed for its growth and expansion through opportunities in developing a diversified company with a core technical focus in laboratory systems strengthening and horizontal services in organization and leadership development. Now in its 5th year, Ms. Eastman's experience in business planning, organizational development, financial analysis, and creating opportunities for business to business partnerships positively impacts the bottom line of Africabio Enterprises, Inc. She is also the co-founder of CelebrateLAB, a regional W. Africa event for laboratory professionals.
Sarah Kwao is the Quality Manager of the Pathology Division of the 37 Military Hospital. She was employed by the Ministry of Defence to serve at the military hospital as a Medical Laboratory Scientist after her one year national service at the same institution. By dint of hard work, she rose through the ranks and was appointed to serve on the quality steering committee as logistics officer of the Pathology Division of the Military Hospital in 2012. She diligently combined this appointment with service as the deputy head of the Chemical Pathology Department until July 2018 when she was appointed to fill in the big shoes of her former boss as the quality manager.
She was also nominated in August 2014 to serve as the laboratory officer of the Ghanaian Medical contingent 11, a United Nations' level II hospital in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI-GHANMED 11). She is also the laboratory's representative of the National Aids Control Program (NACP) in the hospital and a member of the Joint West African Research Group constituted by the US Naval Research Unit 3 (JWARG/NAMRU 3)" She brings on board a 14 year working experience as a Laboratory Scientist.
Mrs. Ellen Munemo
Ellen Munemo is a Medical Laboratory Scientist who holds a Master’s degree in Medical Microbiology. She has a long history working in the field of microbiology in private, public and academic institutions. She has worked as a Chief Laboratory Scientist for the TB lab in Zimbabwe where she was involved in a number of inter-country support activities for TB with WHO, assessing the implementation of programmatic management of DRTB. She was then appointed to be the Lab Director for the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory where she was instrumental in developing and implementing quality management systems, leading to the accreditation of the laboratory on ISO 15189:2012 in 2017. She also worked as the Program Director for ACCEL and was spearheading public health system strengthening in Liberia by providing technical assistance and guidance to laboratories, blood safety, and infection prevention and control. She is currently the Team Lead at Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS).
Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan
Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan is a Liberian medical doctor, research scientist, inventor, and social activist. He holds a degree in human-medicine from the Medizinische Fakultät (Charité) der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Germany. Dr. Nyan has expertise in infectious disease diagnostics and research. He holds a US Patent for his invention -- a Rapid Multiplex Pathogen Diagnostic Test (The Nyan-Test) that detects and simultaneously identifies multiple infectious in 10 – 40 minutes. The Nyan-Test empowers healthcare workers to make an early and accurate diagnosis for prompt and targeted therapeutic management of patients as well as disease surveillance. The Nyan-Test was recently recognized as one of Top 50 Innovations by the African Innovation Summit in Kigali, Rwanda. Dr. Nyan worked as a scientist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA. He currently serves as Chief Executive and Scientific Officer (CESO) of Shufflex Biomed.
Dr. Adrian N.O. Oddoye
Dr. Adrian N. O. Oddoye is the Founder and Medical Director of Akai House Clinic. A General Practitioner with over 20 years of practice, Dr. Oddoye is a proponent of preventive medicine and community health. He is a Trustee of the University of Ghana College of Health Sciences, and a member of the Ghana Medical Association, the Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners and the International Panel Physicians Association.
Dr. Adeola Olanrewaju Oluboyo
Dr. OLUBOYO Adeola is a Lecturer, Researcher, and Scientist. She has Ph.D in Medical Laboratory Science (Immunology). Her area of specialization is Chemical Pathology (Clinical chemistry). She is a fellow member of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) with more than 20 years’ experience in teaching and laboratory services in Nigeria with a proven track record of research in both communicable and non-communicable diseases with special interest in HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Cancer, Hypertension, and Diabetes.
She has passion for training, mentoring and providing support in form of consultancy services to young researchers. She has been actively involved in clinical laboratory operations, management, teaching, mentoring, and clinical research. She has served in several capacities as a public speaker, coordinator, and Head of the department. She also has a passion for women and children’s health and participates in voluntary and free health services to people in various communities.
Dr. David A. Opare
Dr. David Agyapong Opare is currently the Head of the National Public health and reference Laboratory of Ghana. He holds a BSc Second Class Upper Degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, a Medical Doctor’s degree from Moscow Institute of Medicine, a Master of Public Health from University of Ghana, a MSc Medical Microbiology degree from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a diploma DLSHTM (Diploma London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) also from LSHTM. He is a Senior Public Health Specialist and a Fellow at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. He worked in a lot of hospitals as a Medical Officer notably are Komfo Anokye Teaching hospital, Atebubu Government hospital and Sunyani Municipal and Regional Hospitals. He served as the District Director of Health Services in Atebubu District and Sunyani Municipal Health Directorate.
Blessing Ekanem Opoola
Blessing Ekanem Opoola is a Laboratory Specialist with more than 15 years of working experience in microbiology, research TB and HIV diagnostics. In-depth knowledge pf laboratory quality management system. She is currently working as a Medical Laboratory Specialist at the National Professional Officer Laboratory, World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria.