The Accra School of Hygiene, under the auspices of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Yale School of Nursing to advance in global and planetary health.
The MoU would promote student exchange programmes, cross-cultural exchanges through guest lectures and other programmes, host and provide visiting scholars as well as leverage on cross-institutional faculty experience through joint research.
Dr Freda Prempeh, the Minister of MSWR disclosed this when she paid a familiarization visit to acquaint herself with the operational challenges of the health training school in Accra.
Accompanied by other key staff of the ministry, the sector minister interacted with the management, staff and students of the training school, affiliated with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology and the University of Cape Coast, with Diploma and Bachelor programmes.
Dr Prempeh indicated the MSWR was working assiduously to transform the School into a World Class Public Health Training Institution to enable it to produce competent public health practitioners, capable of meeting the changing health, environmental and development needs of the global community.
She explained the Environmental Health Department of the school was collaborating with the Center Affordable Water Sanitation Technology (CAWST), Canada, to organize short courses for students and faculty, saying so far more than 400 students and faculty members had benefited from the training.
The Department is also in close collaboration with the Training Research and Networking for Development (TREND) to train the tutors, students and field officers on the Sanitation Pathways Initiative (SaniPath).
Dr Prempeh explained the SaniPath focused on providing support to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the country towards solving the problem of data scarcity on the risk of feacal contamination and its implication for public health.
The Occupational Therapy Department has also trained a total of 87 occupational therapy technicians who are practicing at various governmental and non-governmental facilities nationwide, she stated.
Dr Prempeh the MSWR was committed to ensure the completion of phases two and three of the three-storey building which contained a nine-unit classroom block and offices, facelift of the school compound with pavement blocks and landscaping as well as fencing.
She added the construction of access roads, demonstration rooms, insectary and sanitation market, establishment of research fund, as well as acquisition of a new site for the school and regular payment of allowances was the outlook for 2024.
The establishment of the Accra School of Hygiene can be attributed to the efforts of the colonial government, where in the early 1900s the British administration recognized the importance of public health measures to combat infectious diseases and improve the overall wellbeing of the population.
The precursor to school was the Government Sanitary Inspector Training School which was established in 1925 and in 1937 renamed the Government Sanitary Training School, reflecting on its broader scope of training beyond the role of sanitary inspectors.
In 1962, the school underwent another transformation and was re-named the Accra School of Hygiene, and affiliated to the Royal Sanitary Institute of London.