School Of Public Health Holds West African Regional Seminar On Geohealth

Group photograph of participants at the meeting

The School of Public Health at the University of Ghana has hosted the West-Africa-Michigan Collaborative Alliance for Reshaping, Training, Education and Research on Global Environmental and Occupational Health to its third Partners meeting. Experts from eight countries across Africa (Nigeria, Cameroun, Benin, South Africa, Mali, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire) including partners from North America convened to discuss the establishment of a GeoHealth (Global Environmental and Occupational Health) Hub in Ghana.


Delivering the keynote address on the theme: “the need for GeoHealth research capacity building in West Africa”, the Deputy Provost, College of Health Sciences, Prof. Joseph Darkwa Seffah noted that, “maintaining healthy and safe communities as well as protecting the health of our people has become the business of academic institutions in partnership with National Health Authorities since neither can singlehandedly solve the health problems facing the region”.  He said the effects of climate change, environmental pollution and occupational health challenges are increasing health risks hence the need for establishing the West African Regional Hub for GeoHealth.

Prof. Moses Aikins, Vice-Dean of the School of Public Health in his address pointed out that academics play an important role by informing national policy through research.  He stressed on the need for critical mass of qualified personnel to conduct research to supply relevant information which guides national health policies.

In their address, Professor. Nil Basu from University of Michigan and Professor Tom Robins from  McGill University both underscored the relevance of the Geo Health Alliance in building upon existing occupational and environmental health research and training collaborations between academic and government partner institutions in Ghana and the University of Michigan (UM) in order to enhance capacity for scientific research, research training, and curricular activities that address and inform key national occupational and environmental health priorities and policies.

Prof. Julius Fobil, Head of Department of Biological, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (BEOHS), School of Public Health thanked all participants for contributing to a successful seminar.  He was particularly grateful to colleague academics who had come from outside Ghana to participate in the seminar,

Among those who participated in the seminar were Dr. (Mrs.) Edith Clarke, Head of Occupational and Environmental Health Department, Ghana Health Service, Professor Isabella A. Quakyi, Dean of School of Public Health and other stakeholders.