The overall objective of The West Africa-Michigan CHARTER II for GEOHealth is to build upon long-standing, extensive occupational and environmental health (OEH) research and training collaborations between academic and government partner institutions in Ghana, as well as other countries of West Africa, the University of Michigan and McGill University so as to sustainably enhance capacity for world-class scientific research and research training which address and inform key national and regional occupational and environmental health priorities and policies.
We are generously funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Centre and Canada's IDRC.
Click here to the program announcement
GeoHealth aims to support the development of institutions in the low- or middle-income countries (LMICs) that will serve as regional hubs for collaborative research, data management, training, curriculum and outreach material development, and policy support around high priority local, national, and regional environmental and occupational health threats.
Hubs are supported by two coordinated linked awards to
- 1) a LMIC institution for RESEARCH
- 2) a U.S. institution to coordinate RESEARCH TRAINING
Below we outline our plans for RESEARCH and TRAINING. They will be updated over time.
Research Training Objective
The broad training aims are to:
1) strengthening of existing, and launching of new, Masters and doctoral EOH research training programs through a combination of:
- i) sharing of existing curricula
- ii) cross-country curriculum development workshops
- iii) consultation by faculty from well-established degree programs to new or recently launched programs
2) Enhancing training of West African postdoctoral fellows organized into interdisciplinary, inter-country project teams spending 4 months on the UM or McGill campus, followed by 6 months in WA home countries executing research projects in the informal sector. The months at UM/McGill will include:
- i) mentoring by teams of NA and WA senior scientists
- ii) courses in the responsible conduct of research, interdisciplinary research, advanced statistical methods, scientific writing, and use of technology and information resources
- iii) auditing courses
- iv) presentations on planned research projects
Specific Aim 2C.
Implement innovations in mentoring and team-building. A key innovation will be WA senior scientists will reside on the UM/McGill campus for the 1st two months the postdoctoral teams are there.
Specific Aim 2D
Offer similar training at UM/McGill for WA doctoral students teams.
The broad aims of this research are to increase multi-disciplinary understanding of the risks at the Agbogbloshie electronic waste site in central Accra, Ghana, and to use study findings to inform evidence-based implementation activities and policy options at the national, regional, and international levels.
The specific scientific goals include:
- 1) characterize work-related, time-varying, job-specific exposures of electronic waste recycling workers at the Agbogbloshie site, and assess biological markers of dose, to metals, organic compounds, and markers of combustion products;
- 2) provide estimates of potentially increased lifetime, work-exposure-associated cancer risks
- 3) evaluate associations of exposures with measures of acute and chronic respiratory morbidity in workers.