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

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

The Dodowa Health Research Centre’s Institutional Review Board (DHRC IRB) was established in 2011 with funding from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). This was due to the need to enhance research activities within the Centre and to protect the interest of community members in the Shai-Osudoku and Ningo - Prampram districts of the Greater Accra Region and beyond.


The primary objective of the IRB is to protect the wellbeing of potential research participants and to promote ethical research. The IRB is mandated to review, approve, require modifications, monitor and disapprove research activities conducted by researchers using human participants. Thus the IRB’s operations are guided by the principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmalficence and justice as well as other internationally recognised guidelines.


Achievements
Since inception of the board’s operations;
• Attention has been drawn to the fact that research/studies done in the districts should have ethical clearance before starting and progressing further. The District Health Directorate and the Local government authority have been briefed formally about the IRB and staff of these two institutions refer all prospective researchers to the IRB secretariat to seek ethical approval prior to the commencement of their studies.
• The board has also served and continue to serve as a platform to educate researchers and other relevant stakeholders with little or no knowledge about research ethics and more importantly the relevance of an IRB.
• There has been improvement in the quality of proposals submitted from the Centre to the National Ethical Review committee. The board also serves as a means of validation for researchers who come into the district to conduct research in an ethical manner.


IRB Composition
The seven (7) member board currently comprises of well trained and experienced members namely; representative from the media, Pharmacist, Nutritionist, (2) Medical Doctors, Biostatistician, Epidemiologist and a Community Representative.


Activities
Currently, the board meets every other month and whenever there is the need, an expedited review is carried out. Since the inception of its operation, the IRB has reviewed several proposals ranging from Social sciences and Biomedical studies.


Contact Information
For more information about the IRB and its activities such as protocol submission guidelines, deadlines, application forms and administrative charges, please contact the Administrator on;
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Laboratory Department of Dodowa Health Research Centre is under construction. Laboratory services at the Centre are currently not available.
When the Centre is to carry out a clinical study that has a Laboratory component, the Shai-Osudoku District hospital’s laboratory is used for laboratory analysis.
The Shai-Osudoku District hospital Laboratory is well equipped to carry out most laboratory analysis including Cultures, Full blood count and Blood chemistries.
The Research Centre has successively carried out clinical trials that had laboratory components. These included,
1. INESS Therapeutic Efficacy study of Artemisinin Combination Therapy(ARTs) for the treatment of Uncomplicated p- falciparum malaria

2. Observational Study to Evaluate the Clinical Safety after Introduction of the Fixed dose Artemisinin Combination Therapy “Eurartesim” (Dihydro-artemisinin/Piperaquine (DHA/PQP) in Public Health Districts in Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Ghana and Tanzania


3. Baseline Indicator Estimates for Monitoring the Impact of Sulphadoxine- Pyrimethamine Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria during Pregnancy in Ghana.

 

A high level delegation from the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and INDEPTH Network visited the Dodowa Health Research Centre. The team consisted of Prof. Hannah Akuffo, the head of research cooperation unit of SIDA, Prof. Sven-Britton and Justice Sophia Akuffo of the supreme court of Ghana. The rest are Mr. James Akazili, Dr. Mamusu Kamara and Ms. Samuelina Arthur all from the INDEPTH Network.

The Director of the Dodowa Health Research Centre Dr Margaret Gyapong gave an overview of the centre’s activities. This was followed by a brief presentation on the operations of the centre’s Health and Demographic Surveillance System by the Data Manager, Mr. Alfred Manye. Related to the presentation on the Health and Demographic Surveillance System, Dr. Hannah Akuffo led deliberations on the average level of education attained by children and adolescents.

The team led by the Director, Dr. Margaret Gyapong paid a working visit to the field. They a fieldworker working at the time they arrived and he took the team into a house to observe how the HDSS data collection is performed and updated using the PDA. This was an opportunity for the team to observe not only how to collect HDSS data but also how the fieldworkers manage unanticipated circumstances that may occur in field work.

The team was fascinated and applauded the fieldworker for demonstrating excellent interviewing and questioning skills. The team expressed confidence in the quality of data collected and commended the Director and the HDSS team for the good work over the years notwithstanding the financial challenges.

 

Subcategories

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