Early diagnosis of non-communicable and neglected diseases in hard-to-reach and marginalized populations using molecular markers of disease:
Dr. Emmanuel Timmy Donkoh is a lecturer of Biochemistry and Chemical Pathology at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) and the Acting Head of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science. Dr. Emmanuel Timmy Donkoh is a Principal Investigator of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at the Center for Research in Applied Biology (CeRAB) and founding partner of the Screen and Treat Research Group. Dr. Emmanuel Timmy Donkoh’s research has attracted funding from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). He is currently conducting population-based intervention research to improve health-seeking behaviour within communities for early detection of NCDs and to monitor populations for cardiovascular risk factors and generate knowledge that could be used to prevent complications.
His previous research allows us to appreciate the molecular epidemiology of cancer-causing infectious agents and vaccines against papillomaviruses (HPV). In Ghana, most cancer patients present late for treatment when the prognosis is usually poor and management is expensive- often beyond the reach of the majority of patients. His research seeks to expand universal access to cervical screening services and to remove the inequalities faced by women in access to healthcare in the context of infectious disease prevention and diagnosis.
Currently, he is conducting research on cancer prevention in vulnerable populations such as sex-workers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana with a vision to make early cancer diagnostics more available and accessible to the populations who need it most.
His past work has contributed to our knowledge on the molecular epidemiology of human papillomaviruses in the population of previously unscreened Ghanaian women. This work provides evidence that currently available vaccines can be useful as a primary prevention strategy against HPV infection and its sequelae.
However, there is growing aversion to vaccine uptake throughout Africa for various reasons such as the paucity of locally-led research on vaccine durability and safety. In 2019, he was part of a team led by Prof. Ellis Owusu Dabo and Dr. Edward Dassah to study the safety and immunogenicity of HPV vaccines given to Ghanaian girls. He has also worked as a consultant to the World Health Organization, the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Statistical Service in various capacities to promote global health.
He is a recipient of an accelerated PhD in Chemical Pathology from KNUST. His research output allows us to appreciate the molecular epidemiology of cancer-causing infectious agents and the efficacy of vaccines against papillomaviruses (HPV). His research also focuses on cancer prevention in vulnerable populations such as sex-workers and women living with HIV/AIDS in Ghana. His passion is to make molecular diagnostics solutions more available and accessible to the populations who need it most and in a timely, cost-efficient fashion.
Conference presentations and publications
Donkoh, E. T., (2021). Critical role of clinical laboratories in the COVID-19 pandemic. February 15-17, 2021. International Federation of Clin. Chemistry 2021 Virtual Conference
Owiredu, W. K. B. A., Obirikorang, Chris., Ofori-Boadu, W. I., Boadu, K. O., Donkoh, E. T., (2019). Association Between Anaemia and Chronic Kidney Disease Among Pre-Dialysis Diabetes Patients in Kumasi, Ghana. Book of Abstracts 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, 4-8 August, 2019, Anaheim, USA
D. A. Berkoh, W. K. B. A. Owiredu, S. F. Gyasi, E. T. Donkoh, R. A. Ngala, (2019). Factors Associated with Compliance Behaviour in a Peri-Urban Diabetic Clinic using a Mixed-Methods Approach. Book of Abstracts, 31st Biennial Conference of the Ghana Science Association, Sasakawa Center, University of Cape Coast, 30th July- 2nd August, 2019, Sasakawa Center, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Debrah O., Agyemang-Yeboah F., Donkoh E.T., Asmah R.H., Seini M.M., Owusu-Dabo E. (2018). Relationship between cervical epithelial cell abnormalities and co-infection with herpes simplex virus and human papillomavirus among unscreened women in Ghana. Book of Abstract 3rdGlobal Congress on Vaccine and Vaccinations, 14-15 November, 2018, Roma, Italy, p.28
Debrah O, Agyemang-Yeboah F., Owusu-Dabo E, Asmah R. H, Donkoh E. T., Seini MM, Fondjo L. A. Seroprevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 Among Women Attending Routine Cervicare Clinics in Ghana at the 2016 UNESCO-MARS Conference, Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia.
Timmy Donkoh E, Wiredu E. K, Yeboah F. A., Asmah R. H Prevalence of Cervical Cancer and Pre-Cancerous Lesions in Unscreened Women in Kumasi. Medicine 2019 98:13.
Debrah, O., Agyemang-Yeboah, F., Asmah, R.H., Timmy Donkoh, E., Seini, M.M., Fondjo, L.A. and Owusu-Dabo, E., 2018. SERO-prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 among women attending routine Cervicare clinics in Ghana. BMC infectious diseases, 8(1), p.378.
Agyemang-Yeboah, F., Debrah, O., Timmy Donkoh, E., Asmah, R.H and Seini, M.M., 2018. Co-Infection Prevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2 with Human Papillomavirus and Associated Risk Factors among Asymptomatic Women in Ghana. International Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy, 3(3), p.45.
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