Ghanaian PhD candidate wins top UK prize

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Justice Moses Aheto (centre) is congratulated by the TakeAIM company sponsor Nira Chamberlain

A Ghanaian postgraduate student, Justice Moses Aheto, has won a top UK prize for his work on child malnutrition in Ghana.

Mr Aheto is a PhD Candidate in Medicine with the CHICAS research group (Combining Health Information, Computation and Statistics) at Lancaster Medical School in the UK.

Child malnutrition is a major public health challenge responsible for 40% of under-five child mortality in Ghana.

He was awarded a prize in the TakeAIM competition at a ceremony held at St Catherine’s College at Oxford University.

His work was singled out for its potential impact because it identifies factors that increase the risk of malnutrition – like family background and illiteracy- and combines several statistical techniques with different datasets.

Mr Aheto said: “I have a passion to use my expertise to help vulnerable groups of people in society and that is one of the main reasons I am undertaking this study. I have chosen to work on children because they are the foundation of life and society and must be given support if we expect our society to succeed and have great future leaders.”  

His work makes several recommendations to target help more effectively to the regions of Ghana which are most likely to be affected by malnutrition, whether due to drought, flooding or poverty.

“The Government can help by targeting these areas with free drought resistant crops or by providing toilet facilities to improve overall health. “

Organised by the Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and System Engineering, the goal of TakeAIM 2015 is to make visible the crucial role that mathematics plays in society as well as highlight new thinking.

Mr Aheto’s PhD was funded by the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University.

He now aims to present his recommendations to the Parliament of Ghana.

lancaster.ac.uk contributed to this report.