KNUST establishes centre to deal with global pandemics

BY: Daniel Kenu
KNUST establishes centre to deal with global pandemics
The Pro VC (left) interacting with the German ambassador (middle) and his delegation

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service has established a centre dedicated to addressing the threat of global pandemics to health.

It is known as the German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention (G-WAC). It is expected to be officially launched soon.

Construction of the G-WAC project which officially started in May this year was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) at a cost of about 2.8 million euros.

Subsequently, KNUST on Wednesday hosted a team from their German counterparts under the auspices of its College of Health Sciences to discuss a wide range of issues connected with the sustainability of the project.

The project

The G-WAC is one of the eight new DAAD-funded Global Centres for Climate and Health to be established across low and middle-income countries to address global challenges.

It is to look at the extensive agriculture and climate change spill-over of pathogens from wild animals to humans, increased human mobility and also the key pillars of resilient health systems per the WHO framework.

Its scope includes effective governance, sustainable financing mechanisms, appropriate human resource capacity, availability of essential medicines and technology, reliable health information, and responsive health service delivery.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Christoph Retzlaff, lauded the initiative and assured Germany’s continual support.

"Germany will support the launch of a new German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention. It will be in Ghana," he said. 

VC

The Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson said the G-WAC was another demonstration of KNUST’s outstanding history of impactful collaborations with national and international institutions of higher education and research.

“With our combined capacity to address the challenges of pandemic preparedness, expanding our institutional remit to establish a Centre of excellence as a dedicated effort to advance state-of-the-art research and practice in Global Health with a focus on pandemic preparedness is both timely and of potentially great impact not only for Ghana but the rest of Africa," she said.

Provost

The Provost of the KNUST College of Health Sciences, Prof. Christian Agyare explained that the G-WAC draws on the experience and expertise of at least three schools within the College of Health Sciences namely; School of Public Health, School of Allied Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry and School of Veterinary Medicine.

It also has two main German partners: the Berlin School of Public Health including Technische Universität Berlin [TUB], the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB).