The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Prof John Owusu Gyapong has disclosed that the institution has received approval to establish the School of Dentistry, at its campus in the Volta Regional capital, Ho.
This brings the number of academic units run by UHAS to 10, in the last decade, out of 11 stipulated by the law that established the institution.
“Yesterday I got a letter from the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission, our School of Dentistry program has been approved, so we are in the process of going to get this done”, he said at the 5th UHAS Leadership Lecture Series in honour of the late President Prof John Evans Atta Mills.
“There are 11 academic units that the law says we should have, I think if we do all the next Vice-Chancellor will have nothing to do so I have decided that I will leave the Institution of Medical Education”, he added.
Prof. Gyapong also announced that construction works has commenced on structures to house the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Central Administration of the University.
He explained the project forms part of the Chinese phase two development of the institution.
“This is what has been planned, to have the biggest School of Nursing and Midwifery in the whole of Africa. And the Central Administration in terms of space, the first phase that was donated by the Chinese government is about 10,000 square feet. The next phase is approximately 30,000 square feet. So basically we are making progress”, he stressed.
A Bachelor of Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) program has been introduced under the School of Allied Health Sciences.
The University is also planning to introduce MPhil/PhD programs in Rehabilitation Sciences, Medical Laboratory Sciences and Nutrition and Dietetics in the 2021/2022 academic year.
A PhD program in Public Health has commenced while other schools are planning to start offering postgraduate programs hopefully in the 2021/22 academic year.
The School of Sports and Exercise Medicine also kickstarted in the 2020/21 academic year, with 13 pioneering students. The school which is the first of its kind on the African continent would award a Bachelor of Sports and Exercise Medical Sciences.
The Presidential Coordinator of the Government of Ghana’s COVID-19 Response, Dr. Anarfi Asamoah-Baah, during a lecture on the topic “The Nexus of Politics, Power, People and Partnership in Promoting Good Health”, called for a partnership between health experts and the private and public sectors towards enhancing the country’s health care delivery system.
He stated that though the Ghana has made progress in the health sector, challenges that would plague the sector in the future would be more “complicated and sophisticated”.
He explained that unplanned urbanization, pollution, increase in consumption of processed foods, alcohol, substance abuse, and other bad habits would account for the deteriorating health of the citizenry in the future.
He, therefore, advised that particular attention should be paid to the training of the requisite human resources to enable the country to meet the high demands and expectations of the citizenry in the health sector.
Dr. Asamoah-Baah explained that biomedical sciences must be given special attention, where health professionals are trained to develop scientific minds and approaches to solving problems.
“It is important that future leaders are grounded in the basic medical sciences. But more important is that future [leaders] are not only grounded but they develop what I call the scientific minds and a scientific approach to solving problems. And a lot of that depends on data.”
“One area where our future leaders need to work more is competence in dealing with data”, he added.
Dr. Asamoah-Baah also suggested, “grounding in behavioral sciences; a better understanding of why people behave the way they behave”.
He also recommended the study of the effects of politics on health and vice versa and developing an effective and efficient partnership with the public and private sectors.