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Intensive short course on health technology assessment conducted in Ghana
NIPH was recently part of a training in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana. The five-day skills-based training, which took place from 15 to 19 December, was designed to equip participants with practical skills in the processes and methods of HTA and their applicability to health systems in Africa. More than 30 health professionals from Ghana and other African countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Sierra Leone participated in the course. Support for the training was provided by Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention (G-WAC), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Ghana Ministry of Health (MOH).
Lumbwe Chola and Lieke Heupink from the Global Health Cluster’s HTA team at NIPH, were invited to facilitate training on the economic considerations in HTA. This is supportive of the on-going collaboration between NIPH and the MOH to strengthen HTA institutionalisation in Ghana. With support from the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation (Norad), NIPH has been involved in capacity development activities to strengthen local skills and expertise for conducting HTA in Ghana since 2018. In collaboration with other partners, the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI) and PATH-ADP, our partnership with the MOH has achieved a lot including the role out of the National HTA Strategy and development of HTA processes guidelines. Recently, we jointly produced an HTA that evaluated the clinical and economic impact of including childhood cancers on the health benefits package of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS).
The HTA training workshop solidified the gains of our previous collaborations with the MOH and underlines the important role of local academic institutions in generating capacity for undertaking HTA in Ghana and on the African continent. The capacity to produce and use HTA in sub-Saharan Africa is limited and the efforts made by KNUST and its partners to fill this gap are laudable. Ghana continues to take the lead in institutionalizing evidence-informed decision-making processes in the region, and NIPH together with its partners in the iDSI network will continue to support these efforts.