The Health Professions Education Unit' of the College of Health Sciences in collaboration with the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, of the University of Ghana Business School has organised the first Health Professions Seminar Series.
The seminar was on the topic "Sickle Cell Management and Africa's Developmental Agenda" and held at the College of Health Sciences, at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Jonathan Quartey, the Head of the Health Professions Education Unit, in his welcome address noted that "health is wealth," and that any discussion about health was a useful discussion.
He said the Health Professions Education was essential for the development of the global workforce and mentioned that the mandate of the Unit in the College of Health Sciences was to work on broader functions of all health professions unlike the erstwhile Medical Education Unit.
Dr Quartey acknowledged the good work done by the Medical Education Unit led by Professor Kobina Nkyerkyer, the Vice Dean of the Unit.
He said the Unit had a representative each from all the constituent institutions of the College and that with the support from the Deans/Director and the Heads of Department of the College, the Unit would gradually and systematically strengthen the education of health professionals through designing and administering academic programmes.
"The unit is also promoting education, research and innovation that include; student support, student assessment, programme evaluation, faculty development as well as policy and curriculum development".
Reverend Professor Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi, Provost of the College of Health Sciences and Chairman for the Seminar expressed happiness for seeing a good attendance at the Seminar, adding that the University's preparedness to partner industry to undertake cutting-edge research would help to better the lives of people.
Prof Ayeh-Kumi was also delighted that Novartis was ready to partner the College in several ways that would be mutually beneficial to all and urged the faculty to position themselves to take advantage of the opportunity Novartis was offering the College to make the best out of it.
Dr. Patrice Matchaba, Group Head, Global Health and Corporate Responsibility for Novartis, Switzerland and lead speaker for the seminar explained why the seminar was important to Novartis.
He stated that Novartis was one of the largest Pharmaceutical organisations by both market capitalization and sales and that the company's purpose was to discover new medicines and make them available at the right price and make innovation affordable and accessible.
Dr Matchaba said Novartis was in the lead of manufacturing drugs for malaria, leprosy, sickle cell disease (SCD) and that approximately 80 per cent of individuals with SCD globally are born in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than half of affected individuals die before the age of five due to preventable complications.
"In Ghana, it is estimated that 15,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease every year. The first gene therapy for sickle cell disease was done in Africa".
He praised the government of Ghana led by the President for their support and commitment to the fight against sickle cell disease.
Present among the dignitaries were Professor Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, President of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana and Programme Coordinator at the National Newborn Screening Programme for Sickle Cell Disease, Professor Solomon Fiifi Ofori-Acquah, Dean of the School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, and a prominent sickle cell disease scholar, Professor Robert Hinson, Head of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, University of Ghana Business School and a number of representatives from Novartis, the global healthcare company based in Switzerland