“Excellent news: Germany will support launch of a new German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention. It will be located in Ghana…”
– Christoph Retzlaff, German Ambassador to Ghana.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) will host a new German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention (G-WAC) within the College of Health Sciences in Kumasi, Ghana. The G-WAC project officially began on May 01, 2021 with close to 2.8 million EUR in funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and will soon be officially launched. The G-WAC is one of the eight new DAAD-funded Global Centres for Climate and Health to be established across low- and middle-income countries to address global challenges with a commitment of approximately 22 million EUR in funding from the German Foreign Office from 2021 to 2025 (with a possibility to extend to 2030).
The aim of G-WAC at KNUST is to be a centre of excellence dedicated to addressing the existential threat of global pandemics to health and the welfare of people in the West-African sub-region and beyond. A One Health approach is needed to undertake trans- and inter-disciplinary research targeting both the main drivers of pandemics (e.g. health impact of wild habitat encroachment, extensive agriculture and climate change, spillover of pathogens from wild animals to humans, and increased human mobility) and the key pillars of resilient health systems per the WHO framework i.e. effective governance, sustainable financing mechanisms, appropriate human resource capacity, availability of essential medicines and technology, reliable health information, and responsive health service delivery.
Among other things, the innovative exchange programmes for postgraduate training which G-WAC will engage in will provide at least 14 doctoral training opportunities across disciplines. G-WAC will also offer study and research stays at the partner institutions in Ghana and abroad to master’s students and other young scientists. The Centre also aims at establishing a West African policy dialogue on topics relevant to Global Health, Pandemic Prevention and One Health.
The Provost of the KNUST – College of Health Sciences, Prof. Christian Agyare explains…
“The G-WAC draws on experience and expertise of at least three schools within the College of Health Sciences (i.e. School of Public Health, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Veterinary Medicine), and of two main German partners: the Berlin School of Public Health – (including Technische Universität Berlin [TUB] and Charité Universitätsmedizin – Berlin), and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB)”.
– Prof. Christian Agyare, The Provost of the KNUST – College of Health Sciences.
The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson indicates that, the G-WAC is another demonstration of KNUST’s outstanding history of impactful collaborations with national and international institutions of higher education and research.
“With our combined capacity to address the challenges of pandemic preparedness, expanding our institutional remit to establish a centre of excellence as a dedicated effort to advance state-of-the-art research and practice in Global Health with a focus on pandemic preparedness is both timely and of potentially great impact not only for Ghana but the rest of Africa”
– Prof. (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson , The Vice Chancellor of KNUST.
The KNUST leadership and management specially congratulates the Provost; Prof. Christian Agyare and the lead applicants at the KNUST-College of Health Sciences – Dr. John H. Amuasi, Department of Global and International Health, School of Public Health; Dr. Daniel Opoku, Department of Health Policy, Management and Economics, School of Public Health; Dr. Michael Owusu, Department of Medical Diagnostics, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences; Dr. Linda Batsa Debrah, Department of Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine and Dentistry; Prof. Alexander Yaw Debrah, Dean of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences; Prof. Sam Kofi Newton, Ag. Dean of the School of Public Health; and Prof. Benjamin O. Emikpe, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine.
A press release on the DAAD-funded Global Centers for Climate and Health can be accessed here.