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Inaugural environmental epidemiology field epidemiology training in Ghana


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NIPH is collaborating with Public Health England to support the implementation of a new environmental epidemiology module for the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Programme.

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Photo L-R: Giovanni Leonardi  (Public Health England), Caesar Nyadedzor (Ghana Poison Control Centre), Rebecca Hams (Public Health England), Basil Kaburi (University of Ghana), Elizabeth Peacocke (NIPH).

In December 2018, in partnership with Public Health England, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health supported the implementation of a week long training module in Ghana for residents and alumni of the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (FELTP).

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The Joint External Evaluation (JEE) conducted in Accra, Ghana, February 2017  identified surveillance and response to chemical events and intoxication as capacity gap in Ghana. The Global Health Preparedness Programme prioritised supporting training for environmental epidemiology to build on Ghana’s well-established epidemiology training programme. NIPH invited Public Health England to collaborate as they have extensive experience in the area.

“Public Health England is known for being the European leader in teaching environmental epidemiology, therefore we invited them to collaborating with the University of Ghana in developing an environmental epidemiology module specific to Ghana” said Line Vold, Department Director, who participated as an expert in the assessment of Ghana’s implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).

“As far as we know, this is the first environmental epidemiology module in the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programmes delivered in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Line Vold

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Caesar Nyadedzor (Ghana Poison Control Centre) speaking to the students.

For the 2018 module, Public Health England adapted a course that was primarily designed for the European setting. In 2019, NIPH and PHE are developing country specific case studies for the Ghana setting. “We are glad that NIPH is willing and able to support with continued adaption of the environmental epidemiology module at the request of the University of Ghana, School of Public Health.” said Ghana FELTP module leader, Dr Basil Benduri Kaburi. NIPH hopes that this environmental epidemiology module can also be useful for other Sub-Saharan countries in Africa.