Directorate of Public Affairs
As the only state university in Ghana exclusively dedicated to health education, University of Health and Allied Sciences attracts a high level of interest both nationally and internationally; and in this regard, the Directorate of Public Affairs (DPA) acts as the conduit for timely, relevant and accurate information. All information emanating from UHAS potentially affects the reputation of the university, and this is the determining factor behind the methods and tools we use in growing a positive image of the university.
The fundamental role of DPA, therefore, is to utilise best practice in information dissemination and promotion of harmonious relations between the university and its various stakeholders. The directorate works with all sections of the university community as a catalyst in executing the university’s mission to attain its strategic objectives and realise its vision.
In order to fully support the UHAS corporate vision of becoming the preeminent health research educational institution dedicated to community service, the Directorate of Public Affairs takes its own vision from UHAS Strategic Objective 10 on Communication and Global Reach, which is:
To develop the global public image of UHAS as a world-class centre for intellectual engagement, through the proactive communication of ideas generated at UHAS and through openness to new ideas generated elsewhere.
Our goal is, therefore, to enable the robust interaction of all stakeholders in shaping a positive global image of UHAS by pursuing the following objectives: developing the UHAS academic brand; elevating UHAS’ social reputation; growing the UHAS audience; and ensuring UHAS’ sustainability by promoting global best practice.
- We will ensure effective and timely flow of accurate information and harmony between UHAS and its external publics by planning, organising and managing events and activities that enhance interaction and cordial relations between the university and those publics.
- We will also facilitate efficient communication and internal collaborations by assisting our internal publics — comprising students, faculty and staff in our schools, directorates and offices — to generate and disseminate printed and digital content that meets the high standards of UHAS, and employ multiple means to publicise the great work being done here.
What we do
The Public Relations and Marketing Unit (PR), in collaboration with the relevant schools and directorates, is responsible for managing UHAS events, for promoting UHAS-branded gifts and souvenirs, and for protocol duties.
The PR unit facilitates the organisation and successful execution of the following events:
- Induction ceremonies
- Inaugural and special lectures
- Special functions, e.g., White Coat ceremony
- Workshops and seminars
The PR unit is also responsible for managing vendor relations, the manufacture and marketing of UHAS-branded souvenirs, gifts and other promotional collateral, including:
- Calendars & diaries
- UHAS-wear (cloth, blazers, caps, scarves & neckties)
- Cups & mugs
- Wristbands and other giveaways
- Plaques & VIP gifts
The PR unit also manages the PA Office and performs administrative duties.
The unit also assists our internal constituents to prepare and disseminate information within the UHAS community in order to ensure efficiency. This covers Announcements & notices; Advertisements; Email; Invitations; Mail & package deliveries.
In collaboration with relevant directorates or schools, our Protocol role entails the following services:
- Receiving and processing appointments and walk-ins
- Liaising with security to screen visitors
- Identifying and properly managing VIP guests such as traditional rulers, diplomats and politicians
- Organising logistics for University events and visitor areas
- Conducting guided campus tours
- Managing promotional visits by external companies
- Passport, visa and related issues for members of the UHAS community
- Airport arrivals and departures of official international guests
- Hotel bookings for official invited guests
- Retirement (certificates, send-off receptions)
- Death (funeral announcements and arrangements, payment of benefits)
The Documentation and Publication Unit (Doc) is responsible for reporting, managing editorial processes and proofing written content, as well as developing and producing multimedia content. This unit is also the publisher and custodian of all official UHAS publications and branding elements, as well as media engagement.
We oversee development, editing and publishing of all official written informational material and publications, including:
The Vice Chancellor’s annual report
This is a statutory requirement for the Vice Chancellor to provide updates on the state of the University, including progress made over the past year and expectations for the upcoming year.
In collaboration with various schools and directorates, we publish the student handbook/prospectus and other school-specific publications.
We publish academic brochures, fact sheets and other fliers with up-to-date information on the programmes offered in the various schools of the university, entry requirements, and an overview of UHAS. We distribute this information to prospective students and other interested parties during outreach events.
In two volumes per year, this PDF document lists incoming, outgoing and other administrative staffing changes among senior members of the university.
The newsletter summarises recent UHAS news in a PDF document that is distributed to internal and external UHAS constituents.
Other reports & publications
We edit and publish any other official reports and publications, including statutory and policy documents.
We draft and edit speeches and presentations for use by members of senior management.
The unit is also responsible for designing, developing, and production of digital content, including:
- Audio & video recordings
- Banners, calendars, diaries
- Graphic images
- Informational graphics
- TV & Radio programs
This unit also manages the university’s media engagement by overseeing Internet content, press relations, copyrights and permissions:
Internet content management
- UHAS web site
- External platforms
- Social media accounts (Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter)
Press attendance of UHAS events is strictly by invitation. We require all invited guests, including members of the press, to register with proper identification when attending any UHAS events. Other press engagements, such as interviews or campus visits are by appointment. We oversee:
- Event coverage and reportage
- Press invitations and accreditation
- Press kits
- Press briefings
- Press releases
- Media monitoring and tracking
Copyrights and permissions
University of Health and Allied Sciences holds copyrights on all UHAS marks and symbols, as well as all content featured on the UHAS web site, in our reports, brochures, publications and digital formats, unless otherwise indicated. This proprietary information cannot be reproduced without permission granted by the Directorate of Public Affairs on behalf of UHAS.
MARIA B. GWIRA
Director of Public Affairs
In August 2019, Mrs. Maria B. Gwira joined University of Health and Allied Sciences as the first Director of Public Affairs. She plays a strategic role in building, promoting and protecting the reputation of the university through effective engagement with all stakeholders and growing the global reach of the UHAS academic brand.
Prior to her appointment to UHAS, Mrs. Gwira held a number of senior communications and public affairs positions in the field of Development Communication, following a career in Journalism. Her affiliations include: USAID-West Africa; International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group); African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM-AU); and The Washington Post.
Maria Gwira holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication with specialisation in Interactive Journalism and Public Affairs from American University, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Affairs from George Washington University, specialising in International Development. She also holds a Diploma in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism and a Diplôme de Langue in French from Alliance Française. She is an old student of Achimota School and Mawuli School.
A knowledgeable trainer, multimedia content producer and public speaker, Mrs. Gwira is also an award-winning novelist (N. Maria Kwami) who enjoys mentoring women and youth. Mrs. Maria Gwira is a member of the Ghana Association of University Administrators, the Ghana Journalists’ Association, the Ghana Association of Writers, and the Pan African Writers’ Association.
Public Affairs staff profiles
The director and senior members of the directorate serve on several committees in the university, including, Academic Affairs, Convocation, Endowment Fund Committee, Policy Review Committee, Physical Development Committee, and Security Committee.
The unit serves members of convocation who are principal officers of the university and other senior members appointed by Council or the Academic Board, and are registered as members of the Convocation by the Registrar. The main function of this body is to receive and discuss reports from the Vice-Chancellor on the state of the university, and future plans.
The Convocation may express an opinion on any matter that affects the university and may refer the matter to Council or the Academic Board.
The Academic Board may establish standing and ad-hoc committees for the purpose of carrying out its functions under the Act that established the university and as may be determined by the statutes enacted by Council, except that a committee comprised entirely of non-members shall be advisory only. The Security Committee is one of the standing committees established by the Academic Board to see to issues that affect the security system of the university.
Directorate of Public Affairs
University of Health and Allied Sciences
P. O. Box PMB 31
Ho, Volta Region
036 219 6122
050 113 2329
024 512 5359