White Coat Ceremony
Venue: Boipuso Hall, Gaborone, Botswana .
As I have already been introduced, I’m Mr. Ogorogile Mokate (Director of Research, Innovation and Product Development)
It is a pleasure to be taking part in this White Coat Ceremony delivering a speech on research, innovation and product development in DDT College of Medicine.
In the global world of today, educational institutions are the pioneers of industrialization and development via well – established research, innovation and product development strategies, something that DDT College of Medicine aspires for and has established in that regard.
Let me remind you all that: Botswanan tertiary institutions’ ability to compete with others around the world increasingly depends on their capability to generate viable knowledge – based product and translate them into commercial success. We know that successful economies which have shown increased prosperity are characterized by high productivity delivered through the application of fresh thinking and new research techniques geared towards product development. It is a simple reality that in the new knowledge – based economy Botswana aspires for; innovation has to become business critical for all sectors of the economy, especially health. In DDT College of Medicine, our aim is not to fall further and further behind our international counterparts’ institutions in this regard we have established Research, Innovation and Product Development (RIPD) section, which encompasses applied and modern science research, experimental development and it is central to product development competencies. This signals the College’s commitment to the innovation, generation and transformation of medical research ideas into new products centered on indigenous knowledge.
The College strategically aims to convert the locally available abundant indigenous knowledge into tangible products that will be having medicinal benefit to the locals. This is a cornerstone of our mission ‘Educating for Global Success’. With vibrant innovative solutions, we are responding to some of Botswana’s challenges in medical care. And last year, we announced that we will embark on a robust knowledge – based medicinal research geared towards achieving products. Today, our excellence in research, innovation and product development can be boldly seen on medicinal products on display. DDT College of Medicine has managed and will continue to create these medicinal products because of the highly sophisticated laboratories, equipment and the knowledgeable staff we have. The College is aware of the rich indigenous knowledge that Botswana’s herbalist/traditional doctors possesses. As such we are open to collaboration through our Research Mentorship Clinic, and already some local herbalist/traditional doctors have been forthcoming with indigenous knowledge. The scope of the College’s indigenous knowledge – based research is so extensive that, the RIPD section will also do other products such as the Data Bank for Indigenous Knowledge via medical research. Our students can attest to this Botswana’s unique medicinal research, innovation and product development story in our tertiary institution. In class, teaching is centered on practicum and ensures that these students are out – of – the – box thinkers who can basically turn innovative ideas into substantial products.
Medicinal products you later see displayed are produced from practicum – based teaching strategies that these students have gone through, especially pharmaceutics, etc. These medicinal products do have Botswana’s feel and touch due to indigenous knowledge. The preparation list includes almost all medicinal components and thus have a major benefit to the skin, being; anti – bacterial, anti – fungal, anti – inflammatory, anti – viral, anesthetic, anti – cancer, antiseptic and analgesic properties etc. The medicinal products have other beneficial properties namely; rejuvenated and rehydration of the stratum corneum by the sebum and reduction of scaling and itching inherent in conditions such eczema, ichthyosis and dermatitis. Some of these medicinal products are; powdered soap, bar soap, gargle, liquid soaps, bath gels, face and hand soap, face and hand lotion, body butter cream, surgical balm, lip balm, beard oils, stick – on solid perfume, ladies perfume, lipstick, lip gloss, funky spray cleaner, etc. As DDT college of Medicine, our teaching is practicum – based and we are sure as a College that once our students graduate in just over two years, they will add an external value to Botswana’s economy. Be at modern science, medical research skills, and innovation and product development competencies. A local company has already taken the rights to further enhance the development of the medicinal products on display. The company’s aim is to improve research and product development procedurals, and release into the market safe indigenous knowledge – based medicinal products that can benefit Batswana. In conclusion, the strategy DDT College of Medicine’s RIPD section involves interplay between innovation, indigenous knowledge, health and research and development, forming a systematic approach that integrates holistic thinking, modern science research methods and strategic planning. Finishing, we will be able to help Botswana to develop innovative indigenous knowledge – based medicinal products that will help transform Botswana’s economy from being diamond – based to knowledge – based industry Ultimately, helping the Botswana Government in the creation of jobs as production will be local.