REPORT ON THE GLOBAL HEALTH TRIALS SKILL SHARING WORKSHOP 

Title: Pragmatic and ethical research in disease outbreak settings.

Date: 25th November, 2014

Location: Conference room, Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kintampo, Brong- Ahafo Region, Ghana. 

Attendants: The workshop was highly patronised, and was very participatory. A total of 93 people attended. Attendees were both people from the host institution and other institutions outside Kintampo including researchers from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital research unit and the Malaria research centre at Agogo all in the Ashanti Region, Ghana.

Time keeper: Mr Archimedes Philip Kwanta.

Facilitators

The workshop was facilitated by Dr Kwaku Poku Asante, Dr Daniel Ansong and Dr. Abena Konadu Yawson. Dr. Asante is an Epidemiologist and the head of research in the Kintampo Health research centre. Dr. Asante earned a BSc. in Medical Sciences (1997), MD degree (2001), Masters in Public Health (2004) from the premier University of Ghana and a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.  Dr. Asante also hold several certificates of Public Health advocacy, advanced Epidemiology, Medical ethics and good clinical practices.

Dr. Daniel Ansong is a specialist Paediatrician, a fellow of the West African College of Physician and the Ghana College of Physician and Senior lecture in Paediatrics in Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology (KNUST). He is the international coordinator of the Diploma in Project Design and Management (DPDM) and the Transfusion Capacity Research (T-REC) programme in Ghana and Tanzania-a long distance programme offered by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in collaboration with KNUST and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). He holds a Diploma in Learning, Teaching and Assessing (LTA) offered by the LSTM. He is currently the Deputy Director for Research and Development of the KATH.

Dr. Abena Yawson is a Public health Physician and a Clinical Research Fellow with the Kintampo Health Research Centre. She has a BSc.degree in Human biology (2003), MBChB degree (2006), and Masters in Public Health (2012).  Dr. Yawson is a member of the KHRC Institutional Ethics Committee. She holds a certificates in Project Management, Good clinical practice and has been a facilitator for several Public health training programmes (Malaria, Expanded programme on Immunization, Tuberculosis etc) in the Ghana Health Service

The Meeting

Dr Kwaku Poku Asante welcomed participants on behalf of KHRC management. He spoke on the purpose of the gathering, the work shop title and added that participantsshould get registered onThe Global Health Network and take advantage of the numerous resources available. He stressed the need for the meeting to be interactive so that participantsimprove theirresearch skills and also for participants to meet each other to build a network. He read out the agenda, declared the workshop open.

 

Presentations

Presentation 1: “How the Global Health Network can assist your research career”

This was delivered by Dr. Abena Yawson (KHRC). She explained how the following could be assessed on the network; process mapping peer support, regional faculties & workshops site funder membership, and  e-learning opportunities. 

Question included: 

• Can The Global health network help researchers in doing literature review? 

• What is the cost involved if you want to join?

Presentation 2: “What is an outbreak? By Dr Daniel Ansong (KNUST/KATH).

Dr Ansong talked about; What, why, when, how, where, who, Surveys, Case Series, Case Reports, and Surveillance.

Question asked included 

• Who initiates the identification of disease outbreaks?

• Where do we start our research from when there is an outbreak e.g cholera? 

• Who reports an outbreak?

This presentation was followed by a snack break from 10:45am to 11:00 am. 

 

After snack break, Dr Asong talked about “Research in Disease Outbreak”. He spoke about the important steps to take investigation of an outbreak and how to define the population involved. This presentation ended at 11:47am with questions and answers.

Dr Yawson presented on Pragmatic research. Her presentation included a role play of sample random sampling where T-shirts (The Global Health Network souvenir) were given to two randomly selected participants. All participants write their names, folded them and two people were asked to randomly select a name each.

A case study that looked the formulating a research question, methods and design was discussed in a plenary session. Questions asked include “How can you ensure good clinical practice in pragmatic research”? How do you determine which research methods are best for which studies?

Beginning from 2pm, Dr Poku Asante discussed Pragmatic GCP in outbreak situations. He discussed the importance of adhering to GCP in all research settings. He took questions and answered them, then went on to last presentation which was on ethics in disease outbreaks which began at 2:43pm and 

In this presentation, he talked about ethics around the Ebola outbreak and the cues that can be taken. He mentioned that we can be pragmatic by planning writing protocols, seeking approvals early for disease conditions that recur as outbreaks in our settings. 

The questions in this session included

• “Why is it that researchers earn money for their work but participants are not paid”?

• “Are there any measures put in place at our health facilities to help people with Ebola Outbreak”? 

• “Is it possible that in the near future, faults can be found with the current GCP principles we are using so that current research practices may be decaled unethical in that near future”?

 

Issues discussed

Dr Ansongled the house to discuss the public health issues around poor human settlements in some parts of Ghana using the Cholera outbreak as a case study.We discussed the possible reasons for the cholera outbreak and what the health system can do. The house agreed that at all data collection points in the Ghana Health Service it will be necessary to plot incidence graphs and review them appropriately on weekly bases to pick up upsurge in occurrences of diseases.

The powerpoint presentations can be downloaded from the right hand side of the screen. Please use the comments box below for any comments or queries.

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