Maastricht University starts with two new projects in Ghana

Maastricht University starts with two new projects in Ghana

Maastricht University has received government funding for two new projects in Ghana as of 2014. Both projects, with a total budget of 2,4 million euros, are essentially targeting disease prevention by improving the ways in which the population and authorities deal with water and sanitation. Poor water infrastructure and facilities and the way these are used by the population but also by local authorities are a main source of diseases, ill health and related problems in Ghana.

The first new project is directed to the Ghanaian Schools of Hygiene in Accra, Ho and Tamale, with the aim to improve the quality of their graduates, and also to strengthen the service delivery by these schools in the areas of environmental health and sanitation to the public and private sector. A behavioral approach in this is key. In the framework of the project new educational programs will be developed, staff of the schools will be trained and the management and governance of the schools will be strengthened. The project budget is almost 1,4 million Euros for a four year period. The project will be implemented by ‘SHE Collaborates’, the office for international collaboration in health professions education of the School of Health Professions Education, , in cooperation with other institutes of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Zuyd Hogeschool, consultancy firm CINOP and the Ghanese NGO Hope for Future Generations.

The second project is directed towards the University of Cape Coast in South Ghana. This university trains the people who are responsible for environmental health and sanitation in Ghana’s main local governance structures – the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies. The knowledge and performance of those responsible needs to be improved significantly. The project will contribute to this by providing better training to these people. The project budget is almost one million Euro for a four year period. The project will be implemented by Mundo, in cooperation with the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) based in The Hague and which supports a local unit in Ghana. Also expertise of the School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI) and of other UM experts will be used.

Both projects will be funded by the NICHE programme, a programme financed by the Dutch government in the framework of the Dutch development cooperation effort and administered by Nuffic. The NICHE programme in Ghana targets the health and water sectors. Maastricht University is already involved in several projects in Ghana in the area of health: at the University of Development Studies in Tamale the educational programs for doctors, midwives and pediatric nurses are being improved with the support of the ‘SHE Collaborates’ unit of the UM Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML). Maastricht University has also cooperated already with the University of Cape Coast, in a project in which framework a Master program for sustainable local governance was developed.

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