Ghana Platform

The University of Michigan has a vibrant, long-standing relationship with many institutions in Ghana, including the University of Ghana and its affiliated Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and its affiliated Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the University of Cape Coast, the University of Development Studies, the Ghana Health Service and the Ghanaian Ministry of Health. These relationships date back to the 1980s, when Dr. Timothy Johnson, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at UMMS, partnered with Ghanaian colleagues to develop an in-country post-graduate training program for Obstetrician/Gynecologists that is still going strong today. Much of that strength comes from the retention of 83/85 graduates still practicing or holding leadership positions in Ghana.

The doors opened by Dr. Johnson have led to the development and ongoing growth of a Ghana-Michigan Platform of Engagement. The Ghana-Michigan Platform is hallmarked by a variety of activities that span departments, disciplines, institutions, and even philosophical approaches to addressing global health challenges and tackling health disparities. 

View list of Global REACH Faculty Associates collaborating in Ghana here.

Research Training Programs

Northern/Pacific Global Health Research Fellows Training Consortium (NPGHRFTC)

2012 Fogarty Fellow, Nauzley Abedini (left), with co-worker in the pediatric unit, Suntresu Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana
  • The Northern/Pacific Universities Global Health Research Training Consortium is a partnership between the Universities of Washington, Hawaii, Michigan and Minnesota.  The Consortium is one of several across the United States that hosts the Global Health Fellowship Program, which is sponsored by the Fogarty International Center and several other institutes and offices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Global Health Fellowship Program replaces the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Program in offering 11-month clinical research training for post-doctorate trainees and doctoral students in the health professions. This five-year grant supports the research training of postdoctoral fellows from the health science fields and involves more that 20 US universities as well as educational institutions in China, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Thailand, and Uganda.
  • Joseph Kolars, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives at the U-M Medical School, serves as the Principal Investigator for U-M and will lead the education metrics portion for the Consortium.
  • UMMS made four inaugural awards in Summer 2012, one each to a US scholar and a US fellow, and two international fellows. (Read more here.) 

  • 2013-2014 Fellows

    Dr. Daniel Chai Chivatsi, Senior Veterinary Pathologist at the Institute of Primate Research in Nairobi, Kenya, will be working under the mentorship of UMMS OBYGN faculty Dr. Jason Bell as he studies the Olive baboon as a nonhuman primate animal model for Human Papillomavirus infection. He will conduct prevalence, pathology, and infectivity studies in wild-caught animals in Kenya. 

    Dr. Ching-Ping Lin, Senior Fellow in the Institute of Translational Health Science at the University of Washington, has received an extension on her award to continue working on the Pinggu Metabolic Disease study under a University of Michigan and Peking University collaboration. The study aims to explore genetic and environmental factors affecting Chinese populations with Type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and to explore the interaction between genetic and environmental factors for these diseases. 

    Dr. Rockefeller Oteng was awarded an 11-month fellowship at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana.  Dr. Oteng, who is an instructor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UMMS, hopes to show that the introduction of Emergency Medicine as a specialty at KATH has made a difference in patient outcomes. He intends to set up a trauma/injury database and perform a systematic review with an eye towards salvageable deaths. 

UMMS Contact

Cheryl Moyer, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Education, and Managing Director, Global REACH, UMMS


PARTNER I Fellows enjoy a dinner party at the home of Co-I, Dr. Cheryl Moyer

Ghana-Michigan Postdoctoral and Research Trainee NEtwoRk: Investing in Innovation (PARTNER II)

  • The PARTNER ll project is funded by the Fogarty International Center of the NIH and housed within the School of Public Health (T. Robins, PI). PARTNER II is a five year expansion (2012-2017) of the PARTNER I program and pairs Ghanaian and U-M postdocs within several U-M schools and colleges including the Medical School to tackle global health research challenges. Training periods range from four-twelve months and cover interdisciplinary innovation projects such as: gender and health; innovative technologies; epidemiology and genetics of breast cancer; environmental and occupational health; and interdisciplinary approaches to oral and maxillofacial surgery.
  • Ghanaian postdocs come from PARTNER institutions: the University of Ghana, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
  • The first cohort of PARTNER II fellows, two from Ghana and one from Michigan, arrived in Ann Arbor in August 2013 and will spend 6 months in Ann Arbor followed by 6 months in Ghana focusing on interdisciplinary approaches to addressing occupational and environmental health challenges in Ghana.  

UMMS Contact

Cheryl Moyer, PhD, MPH
Co-I and Co-Project Director, PARTNER
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Education, and Managing Director, Global REACH, UMMS

Clinical Training Programs That Include Research Training

Ghana-UM Emergency Medicine Partnership

  • The University of Michigan (U-M) Department of Emergency Medicine (EM) has been working with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana to develop and implement clinical training for EM physicians since 2007. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a five-year grant from the NIH that began in 2009, expanded the clinical training program to include research capacity development and interdisciplinary training of emergency medicine nurses as well as physicians. The Ghana-Michigan MEPI program now includes partnerships with KNUST, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Ghana Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Services, and the Ghana Ambulance Service. MEPI is led by Principal Investigator, Professor Peter Donkor, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, KNUST. Dr. William Barsan, Professor and former Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, serves as lead from U-M. 

  • More information is available here.

UMMS Contact

Jamilah Yakubu, MPH
MEPI Program Manager, UMMS

International Family Planning Fellowship Program (IFPFP)

  • In 2012, IFPFP, the first African subspecialty training program in family planning transitioned from an extramurally funded endeavor to a program funded by Ghanaian institutions. Led in part by Dr. Vanessa Dalton, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the program provides additional clinical, research, and leadership training in the area of family planning.

  • To date, 5 fellows have completed the training program, 3 are currently enrolled, and 2 have been accepted to begin the program in January 2014. Graduates of the program are in various leadership positions throughout Ghana and have led the implementation of new family planning services at their institutions. 

UMMS Contact

Vanessa Dalton, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UMMS

Addressing Maternal Mortality

  • Dr. Frank Anderson, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is working with colleagues in Ghana on several initiatives aimed at reducing maternal mortality. These include studies of preeclampsia for the development of clinical, policy, and technological interventions to improve detection at the community level, the use of magnesium sulfate at rural and district levels, and the use of fetal assessments at the district and teaching hospital levels. In addition, Dr. Anderson has supervised students from the Minority and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT) who have worked with the district medical officer in the Botsomtwe District of the Ashanti Region of Ghana to implement active surveillance of maternal mortality to replace the current system of voluntary reporting. 

UMMS Contact

Frank Anderson, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UMMS, Clinical Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

Adult and Pediatric Sickle Cell

  • Dr. Andrew Campbell (2nd from left) is shown with his students as they present their Sickle Cell Anemia research at Student Global Health Day.

    Dr. Andrew Campbell, MD has been working with colleagues at the University of Ghana/Korle Bu Adult and Pediatric Sickle Cell Clinic for the past 6 years and Princess Marie Louise Children’s Hospital in Accra for the past year on projects related to determining the sickle cell disease phenotype within the Ghanaian population. Dr. Campbell’s collaborative efforts in Ghana have involved the participation of 12 students over the past 6 years, including 2 medical students and 2 MPH students. Dr. Cambell’s primary collaborators in Ghana include Dr. Onike Rodrigues, Dr. Fredericka Sey, and Dr. Eric Sifah

UMMS Contact

Andrew Campbell, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UMMS

Factors Affecting Motivation for Rural Practice Among Midwifery Students in Ghana

  • Dr. Jody Lori, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Sarah Rominski, MPH, Senior Research Associate at Global REACH are working with a team of investigators in Ghana to understand factors influencing third-year Ghanaian midwifery students’ willingness to work in rural areas. The study takes place in the 16 public midwifery schools in Ghana and includes 700 third-year midwifery students about to graduate and enter the workforce. The study, funded in part by a small grant from the African Social Research Initiative at the University of Michigan, will enable the Ghanaian Ministry of Health to create and test incentive packages for midwives and will provide a framework from which the preferences of other cadres of health workers can be assessed.

UMMS Contact

Sarah Rominski, MPH

Senior Research Associate, Global REACH, UMMS

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

  • A young boy at the Orthopedic Training Institute in Nsawam.  Most therapy devices are made by local people informally trained in their crafts.

    Approximately 10 years ago, Dr. Andy Haig and colleagues took an exploratory trip to Ghana that led to the creation of the Ghana Medical Rehabilitation Group.  At the time, there were only six rehabiliation doctors in Sub-Saharan Africa and the use of more than 50 languages made it difficult to measure disability. The group developed scholarships to train physical therapists and created the Language Independent Functional Assessment (LIFE), which has now been validated on four continents and has shown that the prevalence of disability exceeds previous estimates.  They have recently developed a proposal with Ghanaian policy makers to have a rehabilitation facility added to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Two Ghanaian/American medical students, who have been mentored through their residencies in PM&R, will be taking the lead in Ghana.

UMMS Contact

Andrew Haig, MD

Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Medical Director, FGP Tele-Medicine Program, UMMS



Collaborative Faculty Research

Stillbirth, Maternal Mental Health, and Neonatal Care

  • Dr. Katy Gold and colleague, Dr. Abdul-Razal Shuaib Abdul-Mumin, from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

    Dr. Katherine Gold has been working with colleagues at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital on several projects related to stillbirth, maternal mental health, and neonatal care. In both 2011 and 2012, Dr. Gold took small groups of first-year medical students to Ghana as part of Global REACH’s Faculty-led Program for M1s.  Building on data collected in 2011 on maternal mental health among mothers with infants in the neonatal intensive care unit in Kumasi, students in 2012 paired up with Ghanaian medical students to follow-up with those mothers. This involved traveling into the community and re-interviewing mothers to assess mental health, infant health, and the mother’s experiences of their hospital stay.

  • Dr. Gold has also been working with Dr. Abdul-Razak, an obstetrician-gynecologist at KATH, conducting a study on stillbirths to identify risk factors and causes of death.  Over a one-year period, they collected detailed information about 467 third-trimester stillbirths at the hospital.  Dr. Gold was recently selected by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as the James C. Puffer Anniversary Fellow in family medicine and hopes to continue her work in global maternal child health through this part-time fellowship at IOM. View April 2014 article on this research here.

UMMS Contact

Katy Gold, MD, MSW, MS
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UMMS

Access to Family Planning Services

  • Sarah Rominski, MPH, Senior Research Associate at Global REACH, is working with colleagues in Ghana to explore the issues surrounding access to abortion care. With a small grant from the African Studies Center, she is conducting qualitative interviews with women seeking comprehensive abortion care or care for post-abortion complications, as well as healthcare providers and community members in and around Kumasi, Ghana. The goal is to investigate the reasons women choose to bypass the formal healthcare system and seek abortion services from untrained providers in unsafe locations, causing unnecessary death and disability.

UMMS Contact

Sarah Rominski, MPH
Senior Research Associate, Global REACH, UMMS

Stillbirth and Early Neonatal Deaths in Northern Ghana (SANDS)

  • Grandmothers participating in Dr. Cheryl Moyer’s SANDS project in
    Navongo, Ghana
    Dr. Cheryl Moyer, Managing Director of Global REACH and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Education, worked with partners in northern Ghana and the US to combine quantitative data from the Navrongo Demographic Surveillance Site and qualitative data from interviews with more than 250 community members and healthcare providers to explore the prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal periods in rural northern Ghana. The SANDS team – now dubbed the Navrongo Maternal and Neonatal Health Consortium – has published six manuscripts from the resulting data with another four under review. 

UMMS Contact

Cheryl Moyer, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Education, and Managing Director, Global REACH, UMMS


Ethnic Differences in Triple Negative Breast Cancer

  • Dr. Lisa A. Newman, Professor of Surgery and Director, University of Michigan Breast Care Center, has focused much of her career on understanding the relationship between African ancestry and triple negative breast cancer. Dr. Newman was recognized for this work when she was chosen as one of The Detroit News’ Michiganians of the Year for 2012.

UMMS Contact

Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, FACS
Professor of Surgery, UMMS, and Director, University of Michigan Breast Care Center