DODOWA HEALTH RESEARCH CENTRE, DODOWA, ACCRA

 

BACKGROUND

As part of efforts to promote research and build capacity for health workers in Ghana, the Dodowa Health Research Centre had been granted the authorization in May 2015 by the Research and Development Division (RDD) of the Ghana Health Service to conduct training workshops for health practitioners within the southern belt of Ghana including Eastern, Western, Central and Volta regions of Ghana respectively. The main purpose for these workshops is to increase staff knowledge in research and equip them with the requisite knowledge to conduct quality operational research to effect change in the general health delivery system in the country. All the CPD courses we offer receive annual accreditation from the Ghana Medical and Dental Council and are mainly targeted at the Medical Officers, District Directors of Health Services (DDHS), Medical Superintendents, Health Managers, Program Officers, Health Information Officers, among others. Details on the short courses are provided in the table below:

 

Table 1: CPD Short Courses Accredited by the Medical & Dental Council

CPD Short Courses

Topics To Be Covered

CPD Accredited Points

Ethical Issues In Health-Principles & Practice

·         History of Research Ethics

·         Principles of Ethics

·         Informed Consent

·         Requirements of Ethical Clearance from GHS/ERC

·         Useful Internet sites for Researchers and Ethics Committee Members

Varies each year

Scientific Writing & Publication

·         Types of Manuscripts

·         Consideration in the choice of Journal and Submission Process

·         Essential Requirement of a Scientific Paper

·         Engaging editors and Handling Reviewers Comments

Varies each year

Operational Research

·         Developing an operational research question

·         Proposal development

·         Getting Started – Personnel / Logistics / Organization

·         Statistical and ethical issues in operational research

·         Data collection, entry and management

·         Strategies for disseminating findings

Varies each year

 Data Management using EpiData.

·         Introduction to EPI Data

·         Screen Design for Data Entry in EPI Data

·         Data Validation

·         Running Internal Consistency Checks

·         Running Simple Analysis

Varies each year

 

 

SOME PAST CPD ACTIVITIES

Our first CPD workshop was held in the Eastern Region, Koforidua. Subsequently, we held another event in the same region, and then followed by Volta region and the Western Region respectively. Details are provided below.

 

Eastern Region

First Workshop

The maiden CPD program of the Dodowa Health Research Centre was held on the 19th of November at the Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua on Ethical Issues in Health Research. This was aimed at equipping health practitioners and researchers with the needed knowledge in order to ensure that the rights of subjects are respected and protected during research. In attendance were 35 health workers from various facilities within the Eastern Region. The key facilitators for the training included the Director of the DHRC, Prof. Margaret Gyapong, Dr Bertha Garshon of RDD and Ms Hornam Tsey, the IRB administrator of DHRC. Most participants described the day’s event as excellent and hoped to participate in future trainings. Below is the overall assessment of the program by participants.

Fig2. Overall Assessment

The overall assessment of the program was rated 55% excellent and 40% Very Good.

 

Eastern Region

Second Workshop

This was organized in collaboration with RDD and the Eastern Regional Health Administration. The courses offered were Scientific Writing and Publication and Operational Research. The program was held from the 11th of July, 2016 to 15th of July, 2016 at the Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua. In all a total of 75 participants took part in the training program. The sessions were delivered by seasoned resource persons including the PRO Vice Chancelor (VC) of the University of Ghana (the current VC of UHAS), the Director of RDD and other Research Scientists from RDD and DHRC.

 

 

Volta Region

The CPD Unit successfully carried out training workshop on Ethical Issues in Health Research and Operational Research. Patronage was fairly okay. This was collaboration between DHRC, RDD and the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS). The program was held from the 21st to 24th of November, 2017 at GRNMA Conference Centre, Ho, Volta Region. The key facilitators for this training workshop included the Director in charge of Centre for Malaria Research of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), the Director of the Centre for Policy and Implementation Research, UHAS, Two (2) Senior Research Scientists from DHRC and the former Director of research management and Ethics from RDD. Most participants described the workshop as very useful.

 

 

Western Region

This was collaboration between DHRC, RDD and the Western Regional Health Administration. The program was successful but patronage was low. CPD Courses involved were Ethical Issues in Health Research and Scientific Writing and Publication. Venue was the SSNIT Conference Room at Takoradi near the Central Police Station and it was a three day event from 25th to 27th of July, 2018. The key facilitators for this training workshop included the RDD Director, Director in-charge of DHRC and 3 Senior Research Scientists from DHRC. From the evaluation report, most participants described the workshop as useful and promised to partake of our future events.

 

Challenges

Our major challenge has been inadequate funding of the program leading to some losses sometimes. Late annual approval or accreditation from the Ghana Medical and Dental Council is also a big challenge. This limits the term’s ability to plan effectively to organize multiple events each year.

 

 

Outlook for 2019

The unit has in place an elaborate plan to promote research and capacity building within the southern belt of Ghana. We hope to conduct training programs for the Central and Eastern regions respectively in 2019. For Central Region, this is going to be the maiden DHRC-CPD event in the region and for Eastern Region, our past collaboration had been very effective. Further, the CPD Unit intends to collaborate with RDD to acquire accreditation from the Nurses and Midwifery Council to enable the team to design and conduct training programs for nurses and midwives since they form the majority of GHS workforce.

 

Pictures of some past events

 

Some participants and facilitators at the training, November 2017

A facilitator handling a session, November 2017