One of the winners of this year’s MTN Heroes of Change was Professor William Kwabena Ampofo, Coordinator for the Ghana National COVID-19 Testing and Professor at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana. His enormous contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is recognized with this honor.
Prof. Ampofo contributed his knowledge as a professional virologist during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana. Within the first week after the virus was discovered in the nation, Prof. Ampofo and his team acquired the supplies and equipment needed to set up and begin testing for COVID-19. Prof Ampofo also oversaw the innovation of the pooling sample system to test about 10,000 samples a day.
Prof. Ampofo was nominated by Dr. Abass Abdul Karim, Head of Public Health Reference Laboratory in Kumasi. Dr. Karim believed that Prof. Ampofo’s initiative and training of professionals to test for COVID-19 in every region without having to transport samples to Accra made him a national hero deserving of the acclamation.
Prof. Ampofo’s research interests include molecular and serological investigations, anti-viral therapy and viral disease burden. In addition to overseeing the National HIV Drug Resistance Genotyping Laboratory and the National Influenza Center, Prof. Ampofo also acts as the laboratory focal point for the Ministry of Health’s National Emergency Operations Center.
The MTN Heroes of Change Season 6 (COVID Edition) was launched on 23rd of February, 2022 to recognize individuals and institutions who have made significant contribution to the nation’s effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 500 entries were received, screened narrowed down to 100 at first, then 30. A team visited each of the project sites to verify the submissions. The panel of three judges selected the top-10 projects which were televised in a 13-week series.
MTN Heroes of Change was launched in July 2013 with the aim of identifying and recognizing selfless people who continue to sacrifice their time and resources to improve their communities and brighten lives. Since its inception, 50 heroes have been recognized and awarded for their contributions to society with 5 emerging as the overall Heroes of Change winners.