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UHAS achieves more laurels, international recognition

The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) is celebrating a blow-up of both local and international recognition and awards. The 10-year-old University is witnessing an astronomical increase in students and faculty favouring research and leadership, which management considers a lustre to the image of the young institution. Professor Lydia Aziato, the Vice Chancellor of the nation's prime health university, said at the Second Session of the Seventh Congregation of the University on Saturday that students at the University had topped two international competitions. The first is a team of Biochemistry and Molecular Engineering students, who won gold medals in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, and the International Directed Evolution Competition (iDEC). The team of nine engineers, coached by professors at the University, engineered microcosms to detect heavy metals in polluted water by small-scale mining, and control pollution by breaking down plastic waste. The team won the first award in October 2022 at iGEM's Grand Jamboree in Paris, and the second one from iDEC for developing highly functional proteins for mopping up metals using natural selection. Prof Aziato said 28 Credentials of Entrepreneurs, an international entrepreneurial development platform, had recognised the University as the Best Tertiary Education in Health and Science, at its third Global 28COE Business Summit. A student won bronze for the University in its highest sports award so far at the Ghana Universities Sports Association Games in November 2022, and two students who sat for the July licensing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council won top awards for the same year. Another student won the overall best candidate in the 2022 Ghana Pharmacy Professional Qualifying Examination. In the world of international appointments, Prof. Margaret Gyapong, the Director of the UHAS Institute of Health Research, had been appointed the new Chairperson of the WHO/DTR's Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, and Prof Francis Zotor was elected the Vice President of the International Union of Nutrition Scientists. Professor Fred Newton Binka had been specially recognised by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation for his work towards Tajikistan's certification as a malaria-free country. Prof Paul Amuna was awarded a life fellowship by the International Union of Nutrition Scientists for his outstanding contribution to global nutrition. Boosting the University's research credentials is the award of research grants of varying magnitudes to the University. These include those facilitated by the Institute of Health Research and funded by the Bio Venture for Global Health USA, the Bruyere Research Institute, Canada, the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, and the CAP Foundation 2022 Global Pathology Award. The Fred Newton Binka School of Public Health recorded some notable research collaborations, among which was a USD 199,946 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for a consortium in which Dr Isaac Agbemafle formed part. Dr Hubert Amu, also of the Fred Newton Binka School, is part of a consortium that won a USD 643,000 grant for research on Covid-19. Prof. Frank Baiden is the lead investigator for a USD 900,000 study on Human Papilloma Virus, which would commence this year, and Dr Clement Tetteh Narh also got a USD 104,000 grant to research Breast Cancer in Africa. The Vice-Chancellor said three medical students presently held positions in the Federation of Medical Students Association, while others from the University held various national stakeholder roles. Prof Aziato said the University established new relationships with other high institutions around the globe, and that its students continued to shine, mentioning one Ethel Akolaa, a product of the University who won Arizona University's prestigious award for exceptional performance. It was, therefore, crucial for the Government to consider the limitations of running such a beaming institution with its present staff strength and be given the clearance to recruit more. She commended the progress of work on the second phase of construction of the University's main campus but said the roads in and around the expanding campus remained undone, while the construction of its School of Public Health had been halted. A total of 832 students graduated at the ceremony including six postgraduates.

Source: Ghana News Agency