College of Health Sciences holds fifth annual scientific conference

A three-day scientific conference to provide a platform for health professionals from different specialties and health policy makers, to meet and discuss results of researches undertaken in the past year, begins in Accra on Wednesday.

The fifth conference being organised by the College of Health Sciences of University of Ghana is on the theme: “The Increasing Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in Ghana”.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, addressing the opening session explained that the annual conference was part of the College’s contribution towards research and information dissemination to help to bring good health, comfort and happiness to Ghanaians.

He expressed the hope that the discussions would generate the needed attention to motivate stakeholders to take the necessary action to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in the country.

Prof. Aryeetey said the fact that non-communicable diseases developed over relatively long periods, meant there was the probability that they might abate unnoticed and undiscovered a little too late.

He underscored the importance of research, which afforded the opportunity to know more about a particular issue and contribute to knowledge acquisition.

The Vice Chancellor commended the organisers for their hard work that had sustained the annual conference over the years and urged participants to ensure that information disseminated after the presentations were fully utilised for the benefit of society.

However, he announced that the College’s third annual scientific conference’s advocacy for the establishment of a Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Postgraduate Research as well as a Teaching Hospital to be cited at Legon, had yielded results with Parliamentary approval of $395 million loan facility for the construction of a new teaching hospital.

Prof. Aryeetey said an implementation committee made up of seasoned Ghanaians had been commissioned to supervise the project and gave the assurance that actual work would begin soon and expected to be completed within 24 months.

He expressed the hope that a new Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Postgraduate Research project would receive funding for work to start, adding “most of the ground work has been completed and therefore hopes are high”.

Prof. Aryeetey said in addition to the new projects the University Hospital would benefit from a facelift and expansion programme to enhance the delivery of quality health care in the country.

Mr William Ofori, Resident Manager, Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals in a keynote address commended the College for its tremendous successes chalked and progress made so far through the annual conference platform for discussions and advocacy to achieve its dream of establishing a new teaching hospital at Legon.

He said management of the company had maintained a long standing relationship with the University of Ghana Medical School and followed with keen interest the various support by the College of Health Sciences in the form of scholarships and research grants for its postgraduate students from resources generated from the College’s Postgraduate Endowment Fund.

Mr Ofori indicated that its effect would be to attract more postgraduate students into the various programmes and have more people entering academia with others becoming specialists in the various fields.

He emphasised that research presentations should not end in the pages of the various presentations, but should find their way into policy making processes to ensure that the country’s health care system became the largest beneficiary of the annual scientific conferences.

Prof. Aaron Lawson, Provost of the College, expressed satisfaction about the successes of the four previous conferences that covered wide areas of medicine and health related issues and increased in participation.

However, he complained about lack of adequate funding for research activities and dissemination of findings and recommendations, adding “For research to be beneficial to the health care delivery in Ghana, resources are required”.

Source: GNA

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