The EDCTP SAVING Consortium project seeks to build technical and Implementation Research (IR) capacity in partner institutions (University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS)) to facilitate the delivery and uptake of new medical interventions in Ghana using IR as the guiding principle for its work.
Therefore, as part of its capacity-building drive, the Ministry of Health (MOH), the SAVING Consortium’s lead institution for Work Package 3 (WP3) organized a series of practical training workshops to help it achieve two of its three objectives, which are;
The workshop was aimed at building capacity in Supply Chain Adaptability for New Technologies as well as in Infectious Disease Modelling (vaccine-preventable disease modelling). Three research fellows and a senior research assistant from the Institute of Health Research at the University of Health and Allied Sciences were also in attendance as embedded scientists on the SAVING Project to offer assistance to the Work package 3 team in conducting the training. The hybrid nature of the workshop allowed participation both in-person and online via zoom.
Part 1 of the series was a 2-Day workshop held on the 12th and 15th of August at the Miklin Hotel in Accra. Day one of the workshop focused on supply chain adaptation for new technologies. This was to fulfil the second objective of the work package 3 team which is to strengthen human resource capacity in the procurement and supply chain mechanisms for vaccines and new medical interventions.
The participants for day 1 were various supply chain stakeholders drawn from the public, private and faith-based sectors of the healthcare system in Ghana. Participants were taken through practical training on Supply Chain adaptability for New Technologies to build their capacity in that area. This topic was relevant since the introduction of new technologies could require supply chain adjustments to ensure sustainable supply. These adjustments require that supply chains can adapt to new technologies being introduced almost every day.
Topics treated on the first day included “Public Procurement Cycle, Logistics Management of Health Commodities, Supply Chain Issues related to some newly introduced health products and technologies: A case for Malaria and COVID-19 vaccines, Impact of Demand and Supply, Phase-out Strategies with the Introduction of New Technologies”.
The second day of the first series of the workshop focused on Infectious Disease Modelling (vaccine-preventable disease modelling) Part 1. The relevance of this topic is that the introduction of new technologies for infectious diseases requires critical analysis which includes modelling of the progression of the infectious disease in the population.
This is in fulfilment of the first objective of the work package 2 team to build institutional capacity and enhance evidence-based decision-making through Health Technology Assessment (HTA) that will establish a system for adding new vaccines to Ghana’s standard Treatment Guidelines.
The need to build capacity in this area was to support the HTA work in Ghana. Participants for day 2 were drawn from the HTA technical working group as well as the 1st cohort of Master of Health Economics students of the university of Ghana, Legon.
The next training workshop was another 2-day workshop that took place from the 13th to 14th of September 2022 at the Miklin Hotel in Accra for the second and third series respectively. This part of the training focused on Infectious Disease Modelling (vaccine-preventable disease modelling) and was aimed at introducing participants to a mathematical model for epidemic spread known as the SIR model which stands for Susceptible (S), Infectious (I) and Recovered (R). This involved understanding the equation and how to use it to analyse disease spread.
Furthermore, participants were introduced to the ‘R’ statistical package and taught how to use it to analyse disease spread. There was a practical session on how to design the SIR model using the R statistical software, collect data, import the data into R and then analyse the data to generate tables and graphs.
This is in fulfilment of the first objective to build institutional capacity and enhance evidence-based decision-making through Health Technology Assessment (HTA) that will establish a system for adding new vaccines to Ghana’s standard Treatment Guidelines.
Some of the presenters at the workshop included Dr Maxwell Dalaba (Institute of Health Research, UHAS), Mr Evans Twum-Barimah Esq. (Procurement and Supply Directorate of the MOH), Mr Adolf Antwi (Systems for Development [S4D] Consulting), Dr Kwadwo Odei Antwi Agyei (Partners of Appropriate Technology in Health [PATH]). Other facilitators from the MOH include Dr Joycelyn Azeez (Director of Pharmaceutical Services), Dr Brian Adu Asare and Mr Saviour Yevutsey. The others are Dr Dwomoh Duah, a resource person from the Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Ghana,
There was a pre-test at the start of the workshop and a post-test at the end to measure the impact of the workshop on participants knowledge of subjects treated. A review of the tests showed that there was significant improvement in the knowledge of participants after the workshop.
In her closing remarks, Dr Joycelyn Azeez was happy with how successful the workshop had been with regards to the knowledge gained, which was made evident by the results of the post-test in comparison to the results of the pre-test. She thanked all the participants which included HTA technical working group members and Master of Health Economic students (who are available resources for the HTA work in Ghana) for making the time to attend the workshop and added that she has high hopes that the knowledge gained would be put to good use for the benefit of the health sector in Ghana.
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