The West Africa-Michigan CHARTER II for GEOHealth-USA

The overall objective of The West Africa-Michigan CHARTER II for GEOHealth is to build upon long- standing, extensive occupational and environmental health (OEH) research and training collaborations between academic and government partner institutions in Ghana, as well as other countries of West Africa (WA), and the University of Michigan (UM; lead of current U2R application) so as to sustainably enhance capacity for world-class scientific research and research training which address and inform key national and regional occupational and environmental health priorities and policies. We will leverage numerous existing strengths among consortium partners, who include the University of Ghana (UG; lead of linked U01 application, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the Ghanaian Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service (MOH/GHS), and UM to create a dynamic regional hub in EOH. A critical element for a truly regional strategy is to strengthen partnerships across Francophone and Anglophone countries in West Africa region. This is being achieved by strategically linking with the existing West African francophone-based Community of Practice in Eco-Health for West and Central Africa (COPEH-WCA) through their Ecohealth Chair based at the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC) in Benin (also involved are Burkina Faso, Cte d’Ivoire, and Sngal), which is funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), as well as through linking with McGill University (North American partner in a bilingual environment with long-standing history of OEH practice in West Africa). In addition, our program will benefit from the active input of key leaders from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), who has extensive experience in working in close coordination with the program leadership at UM to build regional OEH capacity in the Southern African Development Community. Project management, ongoing evaluation, and key decision-making for the two closely linked U01 research and U2R research training grant, will reside with the Administrated Oversight Committee (AOC), which will include among its members representatives from the US (UM), Canada (McGill), Ghana (UG, KNUST, and MOH/GHS), Benin (UAC, also representing COPEH-WCA), and South Africa (UKZN). With a specific research activities (mainly exposure assessments) focused on OEH-threats associated with work activities in the informal sector (primary focus: electronic waste; secondary focus: small-scale gold mining and informal transportation-related ambient air pollution), the plan holds great promise of tangibly improving EOH-related research practice and training, and increasing scientific knowledge, and technical ability in Ghana, and, at the same time, improving prevailing products, processes, and policies to create outcomes of improved effectiveness, affordability, accessibility, and superior scalability throughout West Africa.


Posted on

November 27, 2019