The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole has commended the Department of Conservation Biology and Entomology for creating public awareness of the importance of biodiversity and how it could be utilized to promote safe environment for the Ghanaian society.
Prof. Kuupole gave this commendation during a ceremony to create awareness on the efforts of the department to help control the invasion of bats on the university campus.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. G. K. T. Oduro, he said the invasion of the bats has been of great concern to management and therefore should be treated with all attention it deserved since they pose a direct health and economic risk to members of the UCC community and the general public.
While expressing concern for the disease dissemination roles of fruits bats, the Vice-Chancellor also acknowledged the positive socio–economic importance of fruit bats saying, “Experts in the field suggest that bats have been used for food and medicine”. According to him research has also shown that the anti-coagulant compound called salivary plasminogen activator found in the saliva of the bat is used to treat strokes. “Unlike alternative medicines, it can be administered even much later after stroke has occurred and still be effective. Physicians used bats to treat ailments of patients ranging from baldness to paralysis.”
He called on the team not end the project on bats only but all other things about biodiversity, not only on UCC campus and Cape Coast but also in Ghana and afar. He also challenged the entire nation to arise and turn the tide around for wildlife and biological resources for the generation,
In a presentation Dr. Justus Deikumah of the department said the bats on campus chose an urban settlement because they would not be harmed as compared to a rural settlement. It is as a result of the degradation of the environment according to Dr. Deikumah that is why the mammals are invading us and therefore advocated for regulations to keep biodiversity intact. “Bats are not foes but it depends on our treatment of the environment”, he said. Explaining the dangers posed by the animals to humans, the lecturer indicated that when one person gets contaminated the whole society would be at risk.
In another presentation, Prof. K. A. Monney reiterated that if the natural habitats of the animals were destroyed, then they would invade our bedrooms sooner than later. He called for research that will create harmony and peaceful co-existence with the bats. Prof. Monney commended management of the university for supporting the project.