• Consortium Universities: University of Michigan, University of Washington
  • Partner Institutions: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Ghana, and the Ministry of Health
  • Collaborating Research Grants: 12
  • Training Grants: 4
  • Research Themes: Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition, Infectious Disease, Ophthalmologic Disease and Trauma

International Institutional Partner Directors:
Peter Donkor, BDS, MS, MDSc
Pro-Vice Chancellor at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Aaron Lawson, MBChB, Ph.D.
Provost of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Ghana

Program Contacts:
Joe Kolars, MD
University of Michigan

Cheryl Moyer
University of Michigan

University of Ghana

University of Ghana was founded in 1948 as the University College of the Gold Coast and is the oldest and largest of six public Universities in Ghana. The current student population is 29,754, with 1,816 post-graduate students, 26,154 Bachelors’ degree students and 1,784 sub-degree students. There are 865 faculty members engaged in research and teaching. The College of Health Sciences as well as Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Allied Health Sciences are located at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

Kwame Nkrumah University:

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was established in 1952. The College of Health Sciences includes the Faculties of Allied Health Sciences, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Dental School, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR). The School of Medical Sciences was founded in 1975 with an original mandate to train physicians, medical scientists and medical laboratory technologists. Currently, the School has 14 departments teaching courses, and concentrates on training physicians at the undergraduate level and medical scientists at the postgraduate levels. The Medical Laboratory Technology program is run separately in the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences.

GhanaThe UM and UW have strong research collaborations with several institutions in Ghana dating to 1985 (UM) and 1993 (UW). The University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and research unit of the Ghana Health Service have partnered with the UM on 7 active research studies, including four NIH-funded studies and one Fogarty Institute training grant for post-doctoral research fellows, and have published 45 peer-reviewed publications with Ghanaian co-authors. Areas of research include maternal and child health, emergency medicine, human resources for health, and educational assessment.  UM also participates in longstanding medical student educational collaborations with both UG and KNUST. Over the past 5 years, UM hosted approximately 93 Ghanaian medical students, and has sent approximately 40 UM students to Ghana.

The UM has been involved in strengthening health-related capacity in Ghana for over 25 years. In 1985, Dr. Timothy Johnson, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, worked with a team of clinicians and policy makers from Ghana, the U.S. and the UK to develop a postgraduate Obstetrics and Gynecology clinical and research training program in Ghana. Compared to the prior model of training in the U.S. or UK, when the majority of trainees did not return to Ghana, this new model has a 98% in-country retention rate of trained providers and researchers and has effectively reversed “brain drain” while providing substantially improved access to high quality obstetric care in Ghana. This model program is integrated into the budgets of the major Ghanaian universities with support from the Ministry of Health and is fully self-sustaining. This process has paved the way for countless subsequent partnerships between UM and Ghanaian faculty.
Postdoctoral And Research Training NEtwoRk (PARTNER): This UM Fogarty-funded program provides interdisciplinary training to Ghanaian post-doctoral trainees to address global health challenges. This grant has funded 14 Ghanaian post-doctoral fellows to spend up to one year at UM participating in intensive interdisciplinary research training in epidemiology and genetics of breast cancer, gender differences in health, occupational and environmental health, or innovative technologies for addressing global health challenges. The PARTNER grant pairs Ghanaian trainees with Michigan- and Ghana-based mentors to assist reintegration into Ghanaian research institutions.

GhanaIn addition, the UM collaborates with KNUST on the MEPI project to develop and strengthen training and research capacity of emergency medicine physicians at KNUST in Kumasi, Ghana. Since 2009, the UM has provided on-site faculty for this new specialty training program at KNUST, including a Ghanaian-born Emergency Medicine physician from the University of Michigan, Rockefeller Oteng, MD, who lives in Kumasi half of the year and served as the first EM Department Head. The third cohort of emergency medicine residents began training in Fall 2011, bringing the total number of residents in training to 17 thus far. Departmental leadership has been handed off to our Ghanaian colleagues. Dr. Oteng remains on-site in Kumasi, and countless other physicians and researchers from Michigan participate in the training of the new Emergency Medicine residents. We anticipate that 40 nurses, 40 residents, 300 medical students and 40 EMS providers will undergo training over the 5-year period of the MEPI project.

The UW-KNUST collaboration is funded by an Fogarty D43 award to strengthen the capacity for injury control research in Ghana, build a cadre of qualified researchers and generate research that will be translated into effective activities and implementable policy across the spectrum of injury control. This program builds upon a 15-year collaboration for injury research between KNUST and UW, and has significantly influenced policy in Ghana. Dr. Charles Mock, UW Professor of Surgery and Epidemiology, worked in Ghana for four years as a staff surgeon in a rural hospital in Berekum and as a Senior Lecturer in Surgery at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi. While on sabbatical leave from 2007 – 2010, he was responsible for developing WHO’s activities on trauma care at WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability. He continues to serve as Chair of the Working Group for Essential Trauma Care of the International Society of Surgery, a collaboration of the Society and WHO which seeks to improve the care of injured patients. The collaborative research in Ghana incorporates community-based surveys that include direct household visits and interviews. This research has been instrumental in developing and implementing low-tech and sustainable programs to establish or improve pre-hospital trauma care in Ghana.