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GHANA’S PUBLIC HEALTH AGENDA; UENR’S WORRY AND PORTION, University of Energy and Natural Resources - Sunyani

In commemoration of 10 years of global impact on academia and industry, the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has held its Maiden Matriculation Public Lecture on March 29, 2022, at the University auditorium. The Public Lecture which was organized by the Public Lecture Committee in conjunction with the Anniversary Planning Committee under the Chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako was on the topic “Prescription for Better Environment and Prevention of Spread of Non-Communicable Disease: The Perspective of the Geoscientist” by Prof. Emmanuel Arhin, an Applied Geologist at the Department of Geographic Science, School of Geosciences, Dormaa Campus of UENR.

Prof. Emmanuel Arhin presenting on the topic revealed that some elements of nature have health implications for humanity. Explaining further, the speaker said observations at cardiac hospitals in Ghana indicate Renal and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are prevalent in some parts of the regions in Ghana due to mining activities being undertaken in those regions, adding that NCDs which are known among the aged is now common with all age range, rich and poor. He associated these cases with physical and chemical contamination of water sources, and the pollution of the air with dust, which poses health threats to affected communities. Prof. Arhin also established that the spread of NCDs could be due to unplanned urbanization, and poor living lifestyles among others. According to him, NCDs currently, are as infectious as hypertension, diabetes and stroke hence, the latter must be given similar attention as the former.

GHANA’S PUBLIC HEALTH AGENDA; UENR’S WORRY AND PORTION, University of Energy and Natural Resources - Sunyani
Prof. Emmanuel Arhin presenting on the topic to the audience

The speaker lamented the missing link of scientific findings on geological issues to Ghana’s public agenda, stating “as we hurt the earth, it goes and comes back to hurt us”. He was, however, confident that it is not too late for NCDs to be addressed in the country with the presence of the School of Geosciences which runs new and innovative academic programmes in Applied Geology, Geo-environmental science, and Geo-Health to remedy the menace. The speaker noted that training experts in these disciplines would enable them to identify hotspots and coldspots disease-causing elements and share the data with health and environmental institutions. He also mentioned that the invasion of such graduates in Ghana’s public health sphere, will lead to effective solutions to prevent the emerging NCDs and ultimately save lives as geared by the SDG’s agenda of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one-third by 2030 through prevention and treatment.

The Public Lecture was well attended by Staff and Students of the University as well as representatives from the Kintampo Health Research Center and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).