The Institute, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and Action on Preeclampsia Ghana, rolled out a three-day placental research capacity-building workshop from 4th to 6th December, 2023.
The workshop under the theme “Enhancing Maternal Health in Ghana through Placental Research” aims to establish a network of individuals with placental research interests in Ghana and identify new and improved approaches to the study of placental function and pregnancy complications to improve pregnancy outcomes in Ghana.
Prof. Linda Fondjo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Molecular Medicine at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, KNUST
Keynote speaker at the opening session, Prof. Linda Fondjo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Molecular Medicine at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), pointed out that preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Ghana.
According to Prof. Fonjo, although the exact cause of pre-eclampsia is not known, it is thought to be a pregnancy complication that occurs due to high blood pressure and an excessive amount of protein in the urine. “It is reported annually that ten million women develop pre-eclampsia, and about 76,000 women die as a result. It is an alarming situation because it equally affects children, claiming about 500,000 lives as a result of pre-eclampsia disorders. For a woman to live in a developing country, your risk of having pre-eclampsia is increased by as much as seven times”, she stressed.
Dr. Dorothea Obiri, Research Fellow, Department of Immunology, NMIMR addressing participants
She further pointed out that the workshop is a step in the right direction as it plays an essential role in enhancing participants’ understanding of maternal and mortality issues in the country, which will subsequently set the agenda to understand key gaps in placental research in Ghana and build relevant collaborations for research impact.
Participants at the workshop
The training participants from different research centres and health facilities across the country believe that the training will give them the requisite skills they will need as scientists, especially an improved understanding of placental biology and function, which will inform future targets for diagnosis, risk prediction, vaccines, and therapeutics.
Group photograph of Instructors, facilitators and participants
Instructors and facilitators for this workshop are Prof. Michael Ofori, Head, Department of Immunology, NMIMR. Dr. Dorotheah Obiri, Research Fellow, Department of Immunology, NMIMR; Dr. Frederica Dedo Partey, Research Fellow, Department of Immunology, NMIMR; Dr. John Ahenkorah, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, University of Ghana Medical School; Dr. Isaac Joe Erskine, Anatomical Pathologist, Department of Pathology, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital; Dr. Andrew Sharkey, Associate Lecturer, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge; and Dr. Irving Aye, Team Lead, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cambridge.