The Centre for Health Policy and Implementation Research of the Institute of Health Research (CHIPR-IHR), University of Health and Allied Sciences, held a workshop for 14 participants, from October 9 to 12, to assess the impact of the UHAS-Yonsei project interventions on beneficiaries and existing policies in Ghana.
The UHAS-Yonsei Project, officially known as the “Public Health and Educational Capacity Development of University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana”, was based on an agreement, between Yonsei University and University of Health and Allied Sciences, to develop the two institutions in the areas of education and research through academic exchange and cooperation.
Three UHAS Schools were selected to participate in the project — School of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Medicine, and School of Public Health. Interventions included vocational and preceptor training; remodeling of the academic and vocational training curricula; and capacity building through faculty development programmes. The project was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). It ran from 2017 to 2021, and was extended for two years.
In a special guest appearance, UHAS Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lydia Aziato, told participants that the success of this project should be leveraged as evidence to pave way for subsequent projects at UHAS.
Prof. Margaret Gyapong, Director of IHR, chaired the workshop. She recommended that Vocational Training (VT), being a very important component of UHAS, should be incorporated into all grant applications emanating from UHAS, and she expressed hope that the outcome of the workshop would be beneficial to UHAS.
Presenting an overview of the project and preliminary findings, Prof. Robert K. Alhassan, Director of CHIPR-IHR, said the Vocational Training programme at UHAS was strengthened during the project, resulting in the production of VT manuals and logbooks, and the initial drafting of a VT policy. There were also opportunities for student and faculty exchanges, and four UHAS faculty received PhD training under this project.
Prof. Paul Amuna, Associate Professor at the Department of Family and Community Health, Fred N. Banka School of Public Health, said, “having a PhD is good, but is not in and of itself, enough to make one a good university teacher,” however, the project has added value to the teaching process through capacity building of the faculty. The value addition also applied to the learning process through the vocational training programme, and to the partners’ experience with UHAS, which resulted in their extension of the project.
Some of the benefits were direct to the University, some were school-specific, and others even extended to surrounding communities. They included logistical support, such as a pick-up truck for the Office of International Programmes, and 500,000 pieces of PPE’s donated to UHAS during the COVID-19 pandemic; computer, video conferencing and medical equipment; and support to communities with health and water challenges through the Student Community Exchange Programme (SCEP).