Successful maternal health research training program in Ghana
In February, the ‘BLended program IN Clinical Epidemiology for maternal health research (BLINC-M)’ tailor-made training program was successfully concluded with the symposium ‘Future of maternal health research in Ghana’.
This program aimed to strengthen the capacity for maternal health research in Ghana.
Ghana has a maternal mortality ratio of 340 per 100.000 live births. Although progress was made towards achieving Millennium Development Goal 5 to reduce maternal mortality, Ghana did not attain this goal at the end of 2015. In order to accelerate improvement of maternal health and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3.1 - to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100.000 births by 2030, additional efforts will be required. Research is of paramount importance to develop and evaluate strategies to improve maternal and child health outcomes.
The tailor-made program in maternal health research was requested by Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana, and organized by the UMC Utrecht in collaboration with Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences at the University of Ghana.
It aimed to address the gaps in clinical epidemiology for maternal health research and comprised of four online courses and a one-week face-to-face course in Ghana. The four online courses, Introduction to Epidemiology, Introduction to Statistics, Clinical Epidemiology, and Good Clinical Practice, are part of the Utrecht University accredited MSc Clinical Epidemiology program offered through the social enterprise Elevate Health. These courses provided participants with skills in (clinical) epidemiology and biostatistics. Concepts introduced in the online courses were subsequently applied to the field of maternal health research in the one-week face to face course where participants designed their own research proposals.
Twenty participants were selected to participate in this program, consisting of Consultants, residents and researchers in the field of obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. The training providers and origanizers were Dr. Joyce Browne, Dr. Mercy Nuamah, Dr. Mary Amoakoh-Coleman and Dr. Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch.
Funding was provided by the Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP) of the Dutch organization of internationalization in higher education, Nuffic, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.