Stakeholders Hold Meeting on Competence Based Training Short Course In Emergency Preparedness & Management

The Department of Biological, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences ( BEOHS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Community Water & Sanitation Agency, National Disaster Management Organization, the German Development Technical Cooperation and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research recently organized a stakeholders meeting to develop a short course on Competence Based Training Programme in Emergency Preparedness and Management.  This was made possible with a grant from the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training's (COTVET) Skills Development Fund ( SDF)


The meeting brought together, stakeholders  from public institutions such as the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Navy, NADMO, Environmental Protection Agency, Tema Oil Refinery, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, 37 Military Hospital, COTVET, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ghana Health Service, Ghana National Ambulance Service, private sector institutions including Kosmos Energy, Tullow Ghana Limited, Fuel Trade Limited, Cirrus Oil Limited, AngloGold Ashanti, Royal Bemuah Hospital as well as multi-lateral and bi-lateral organizations such as WHO, UNDP, GIZ).


In a joint welcome address to the participants, the Dean of the School of Public Health, Prof. Richard Adanu, and a former Dean of the School, Prof. Isabella Quakyi, both entreated the participants to give off their best, because the Department was looking forward to such contributions which will enrich the curriculum content and thus make the short course more relevant to their needs.

Prof. Isabella Quakyi making a point at the stakeholders meeting

The course is in line with the Department’s strategy to strengthen emergency preparedness and disaster management, including containment and management of epidemics and pandemics in Ghana and sub-Sahara Africa.

A Group Photograph of Participants


In presenting the overview of the course, the Head of the Department of Biological, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Prof. Julius Fobil emphasized the need for academic departments to innovate and deliver solutions to problems facing communities. He pointed out that emergencies arising from conflicts and disasters (including natural, biological, chemical or radiological accidents) have considerable impacts not only on population health, but also the survival of businesses, even delivery of emergencies (e.g. ambulance services), economic activities, food and social security and that in those circumstances, children, women and the aged are mostly vulnerable to malnutrition, pollution, diseases, physical disabilities and violent attacks during these complex situations.


Giving the history of emergencies in Ghana, Prof. Fobil revealed that Ghana government spends an estimated US$70 Million on disasters and emergencies annually and highlighted the rampant fire outbreaks at public and private work environments/places as recent tragedies. He noted that floods have become a recurrent phenomenon in Ghana and that in 2007 alone, floods affected more than 300,000 people in the country, resulting in needless loss of lives, infrastructure, livelihoods and threatened food security. In his concluding remarks, he said that those floods affected 156 communities in the Upper East Region, 421 in the Northern Region, 5 in the Upper West Region and 10 communities in the Western Region, adding that an assessment of damage to life and property revealed that the destruction was massive and had affected dams, houses, bridges, roads, health facilities, schools and farms, requiring more than $25 million for emergency response including more than $130 million worth of direct damage. Arguing that “prevention is better than cure” Prof. Fobil restated the main aim of the proposed short course in emergency preparedness and management which he said is to strengthen institutional capacities by upgrading the skill levels of junior-to-middle workforce engaged in emergency preparedness and disaster management in Ghana and sub-Sahara Africa as well as the whole.



A Cross-section of participants during the meeting