“Society should be considering therapy for rapists, not just jail time,” a Senior Researcher in brain and behaviour based at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Dr LihleQulu has said.
According to Dr Qulu, findings have shown that imprisoned rapists underwent some form of ordeals in their childhood which subsequently affected their behaviour in their adult stage.
She made this known when she delivered a lecture at the just ended conference for the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA) which was held from 27th to 30th October in Accra.
Meanwhile, Dr Qulu was the recipient of the James Kimani Award, an award given to young researchers who came up with remarkable research.
She worked on the neuroscience of sexual violence by basically bringing to fore the science about sexual violence.
For her part, Prof. Tracy Bale, president of the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) highlightedthat there was the need for neuroscience to be elevated in Africa.
Prof. Bale stated that research on brain science was an interesting and imperative area that needed to be projected in a way that caught the attention of all.
“There’s such quality research being done on the continent that the rest of the world needs to hear about,” she said.
Furthermore, she pledged the unflinching support of her outfit to finance research and capacity-building initiatives in the country and across Africa.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Gambo Yusuf Hamza, emphasised the need for such gatherings in order to promote regional collaboration and integration.
This, Mr Hamza said, was because the role researchers played was pivotal in providing evidence that could inform policy.
Expressing his pleasure in the opportunity presented for young people to interact and garner more insights from senior researchers in neuroscience, Dr Patrick Amoateng, president of the Ghana Neuroscience Society, Ghana, was also excited Ghana hosted the15thbiennial global conference.
“Bringing the international neuroscience community to Ghana was very important for networking and community building,” he said.
“It also gave our students to share their work on a platform that they would otherwise not be exposed to,” he added.
Dr Robert Peter Binney, Co-Chair of the local organising committee for SONA 2021, reiterated that the bid to host the conference in the country wasto stimulate interest in brain science and added that people needed to pay attention to neurological diseases as they were on the rise in recent times.
“Ghana made a bid to host it in Ghana in 2021 and this was because we wanted to stimulate and promote the interest for neuroscience in the country,” he said.
“So we are trying to bring attention to that issue that you have to pay attention to neurological diseases and especially how we in Africa are impacted,” he added.
Over the four-day conference, many researchers shared significant insights on their findings in studies which included investigations into the effect of radiofrequency exposure by Dr Joshua Owolabi; evidence supporting the use of specific herbal extracts to treat epilepsy by Ms Paulina Antwi and work being done to translate research findings from English to other indigenous languages by Dr SibusisoBiyela.
The conference which would be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2023 is held every 2 years to showcase research done by Africans all over the world.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR