NCD symposium in Ghana
On 14th March 2017 over 75 non-communicable diseases researchers and health professionals gathered at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR) in Accra, Ghana for the symposium: ‘Advancing non-communicable disease research in West Africa: building cohorts for multidisciplinary research including genomics studies’.
The symposium was organized by postdoctoral researchers Dr. Mary Amoakoh-Coleman (Julius Global Health / NMIMR), and Dr. Paulina Tindana (Navrongo Health Research Center).
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) include chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (stroke, hypertension), cancer, diabetes, lung diseases and mental health disorders and are rapidly rising in sub-Saharan African countries. Action is urgently needed to halt the rise.
In Ghana, the causes of disease, or diseases burden, is currently in transition; traditional diseases from infections persist whilst non-communicable diseases occur more frequently and the population is aging. This challenge asks for interdisciplinary research and a national research agenda which prioritizes the identification of strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment to effectively combat this NCD epidemic.
During the symposium various successful West African NCD research initiatives were presented and ethical issues in genomics research discussed. The symposium was co-organized by Associate Professor Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch (Julius Global Health) and funded by the Wits Non-Communicable Disease Research Leadership Training Program and provided a platform for early career researchers to present their work. This symposium resulted in the inaugural meeting of a West-African network of NCD researchers and practitioners.