STU to collaborate with GHS to deal with infectious diseases

The Sunyani Technical University says it is ready and willing to collaborate with the Bono Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to research into infectious and communicable diseases and propound solutions to how the region and the nation as a whole could reduce the spread of such diseases to the barest minimum.

Addressing the 2020 Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Bono Regional Directorate of the GHS in Sunyani last Tuesday, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah said as a research and academic institution, STU is in a better position to contribute toward effective management and control of infectious and communicable diseases such as COVID-19.

“We, as a research and an academic institution, are always ready to team up with you and avail our students and lecturers towards the conduct of research into infectious and communicable disease for the benefit of our people”, he stated.

The theme for the two-day programme, which was attended by members of the various district health directorates in the region, partners and stakeholders in the health sector, was “Reducing preventable and avoidable deaths in the midst of covid-19.”

Prof. Ing. Adinkrah-Appiah, who was the Guest Speaker at the event, noted that considering the rapid increase in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), as projected by the National Policy for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, pragmatic mechanisms must be put in place to effectively deal with the situation.

He said the vulnerabilities of the citizenry could further deteriorate in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, as most of the underlying medical conditions that put a person at increased risk for severe illness or death from the virus are predominantly caused by four NCDs in the country namely; cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

Tackling Covid-19 head-on

On Covid-19, the STU Vice-Chancellor called for the effective management of “Infodemics”, which he explained as “the super‐abundance of information about a topic, of highly variable accuracy, often disseminated through social media, such that people struggle to know what advice to follow. Infodemics associated with epidemics or pandemics such as SARS, Ebola and COVID‐19 include rumours, stigmatization and conspiracy theories.”

He said a widely circulated myth that drinking highly concentrated alcohol could kill the coronavirus caused about 800 deaths, 5,876 hospitalizations and permanently blinded 60 people, mainly in Iran, who drank methanol.

“A team of social scientists, physicians and epidemiologists retrospectively searched mainstream and social media and health websites from 31 December 2019 until 5 April 2020 for infodemics related to COVID‐19. The researchers identified 2,311 reports of rumours, stigma and conspiracy theories from 87 countries.”

Regional Health Outlook

In a speech read on his behalf, the Bono Regional Director of Health, Dr. Kofi Amo-Kodieh, said the region recorded a significant improvement in doctor to population ratio and that of nurse to population.

“Doctor to Population Ratio improved significantly from 1:9, 816 in 2019 to 1:9131 in 2020 because 15 Doctors were added to the existing ones. Nurse to Population Ratio also improved significantly from 1:349 in 2019 to 1:246 in 2020 after 774 Nurses were added to the existing ones”, he explained.

He further said “Midwives to WIFA population ratio too improved extensively from 1:448 in 2019 to 1:329 in 2020 after 218 Midwives were posted to the region. At the same time, there was a reduction in OPD Per capita from 1.80 in 2019 to 1.60 in 2020.”

He however said even though the region received 774 various categories of nurses and 15 doctors, distribution of the new personnel remained a challenge saying, “staff continue to refuse postings to the so-called deprived areas to the extent that the two Sunyani Municipalities are overstaffed to the tune of 400 Nurses and districts such as Banda, Dormaa West, Jaman North/South and Tain have completed facilities with no nurses to man them.

“This inequality is compounded by the unavailability of accommodation at some of the so-called deprived areas. The region has only 49 Orderlies at post instead of 215 with 15 of them retiring in 2 years”, he added.

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Office of Public Relations Unit
18th March, 2021


 
E-Waste Management, Workshop for Engineering Students

Students of the Faculty of Engineering of the Sunyani Technical University have participated in a day’s training programme on electronic waste (e-waste) management to help them to apply their technical and creative thinking skills to the challenge of e-waste management in Ghana.

Besides, it was to expose the students to the concepts of circular economy focusing on e-waste, introduce them to basic techniques in handling e-waste including the basics of storage, collection, take-back and the disposal techniques as well as arouse the students’ interest in possible business opportunities and careers in the e-waste management sector.

Participants of the training programme were drawn from Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Materials Engineering and the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Departments.

The Programme formed part of a project titled, “E-Waste Management in Ghana (E-MAGIN Ghana): From Grave to Cradle” with sponsorship from the European Union under the Switch Africa Green Phase II (SAG Phase II) Project, being implemented from January 2018 to December 2021.

In his opening remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of STU, Dr. Samuel Wiafe said studies have shown that each person in Ghana generates about 0.47kilogram of waste per day.

Dr. Wiafe said about 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste is generated in Ghana and hoped that going forward more innovative ways would be found to better handle the situation, adding that some of the e-waste contain mercury, cadmium and lead; and when these metals are not well disposed off, they find themselves in the soil and our water bodies thereby posing as a danger to the health of people.

Taking the students through “Insights from Money Dey for Borla…”, the Project Manager of Adelphi, Ebenezer Kumi, recommended the allocation of land to micro-small and medium enterprises to set up e-waste projects.

He also called for increased awareness creation on the economic potentials in e-waste and the strengthening of monitoring and enforcement of laws of waste management.

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Office of Public Relations Unit
13th March, 2021


Maiden online 25th Matriculation Ceremony

The Sunyani Technical University last Friday successfully held its maiden online matriculation ceremony for first-year students of the university with students being matriculated through the University’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

This arrangement became necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to pose a serious challenge to all aspects of human endeavor.

In his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, disclosed that 5,054 prospective students were issued with admission letter but only 2,695 were admitted for the 2020/2021 academic year, representing 17.2% increase over the previous academic year’s enrolment figure of 2,299.

He said 899 of the first year students, representing 33.4% of the total figure are females while the remaining 1,796, which also translate into 66.6% are male students.

“However, the enrolment turn-out for the university has fallen from 73.3% to 53.3, whereas increase in enrolment fell from 20.0% to 17.2%.

Ing. Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah attributed the drop in enrolment turn-out to “the keen competition with other public universities in the country for the first batch of the Free SHS graduates…”

“Also, some universities adopted other strategies to increase their intake astronomically. This leaves other emerging universities, such as the Sunyani Technical University and other Technical Universities, with only a little chance of enrolling appreciable number of students into the newly introduced Science, Engineering and TVET programmes.”

The Vice-Chancellor therefore called on the government to provide more incentives for students at the SHS level to study science and TVET programmes so they can qualify for engineering and technology programmes at the tertiary level to encourage more students into such areas of study.

New programmes

He also stated that STU has begun four-year Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degree programmes in Electrical & Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Technology, Fashion Design, Hospitality and Tourism Management and Agric Technology, among others.

“We urge the youth of Ghana to take advantage to apply and enroll into these programmes at STU to acquire the requisite knowledge, technical and professional skills that will make them readily employable to avoid the temptation of joining the so-called ‘Unemployed Graduates Association’.”

Covid-19

On Covid-19, Ing. Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said the outbreak of the pandemic had presented enormous challenges to the university’s academic calendar. “That notwithstanding, Management of the University has put in place innovative measures, including virtual learning tools to ensure smooth teaching and learning on the University campus.”

“In addition, to control the spread of the disease on the University campus, Management has placed a ban on all social gatherings and sporting activities on campus, except religious activities which is to be carried out only under strict Covid-19 safety protocols closely monitored by the University Covid-19 Task Force.” He therefore advised all freshmen and women to take the necessary precautionary measures as announced by the government and the university very seriously to ensure that they protect themselves and others.

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Public Relations Office
6th March, 2021


Orientation for Newly Employed staff

The Vice-Chancellor of the Sunyani Technical University (STU), Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah has tasked newly recruited staff of the university to bring their expertise and rich experiences to bear on the overall development of the university.

He also advised them to strive at all times to conduct themselves well both on campus and outside the confines of the university as part of their contribution towards the enhancement of the corporate image of the institution.

Addressing an Orientation Seminar organized for newly recruited staff of the university, the Vice-Chancellor stated that management will not hesitate to apply the necessary sanctions against any member of staff who goes contrary to the Statutes of the University.

Explaining the “Roles and Responsibilities of Lecturers”, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Justice Solomon Korantwi-Barimah said the three main roles of a lecturer are to teach, conduct research and publish findings as well as render community service.

He said it was incumbent on every lecturer to muster his or her area of specialization in order to make a meaning impact on the students and also develop a passion for his chosen career.

“As a lecturer, you must stay current on your job by reading as widely as possible. By so doing, you will be versatile and also be seen as a role model and a mentor to the students”, Prof. Korantwi-Barimah further said.

For his part, the Registrar, Mr. Samuel Ankama Obour took the participants through the history, vision, mission and the statutes of the University and advised them to use appropriate channels in channeling their grievances whenever the need arises.

He asked the newly recruited staff to keep themselves abreast of the Technical University Act, 2016, Act 922 as amended in 2018, Act 974 as well as the STU’s statutes in their own interest.

The Registrar said STU has chosen Electrical and Electronics Engineering as its niche area and is working towards the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the future.

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Public Relations Office
6th March, 2021


International Facilities Management Association Workshop

The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) is pushing for the study of Facility Management as a major programme in universities in Ghana, especially in technical universities to enhance the training of more qualified professionals to properly manage public and private facilities.

This came to light when some officials of IFMA met with students pursuing Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Building Technology, Construction Technology and Civil Engineering of the Sunyani Technical University.

The meeting was to introduce the students to the Association and what they stand to gain upon becoming members in future.

Founded in 1980, IFMA is the world's largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting over 24,000 members in more than 104 countries.

Mr. Andrew Mensah, the Vice-President of IFMA, explained that the Association “is a member-centric association that exists to guide and develop facility management professionals by providing exceptional services, products, resources and opportunities.”

Amongst others, he said, the Association certifies facility managers, conducts research, provides learning and networking opportunities, recognizes facility management degree and certificate programs and produces world workplace, the largest facility management-related conference and exposition.

For his part, the President of IFMA, Sampson Opare Agyeman, touched on the need to advance the visibility of Facility Management (FM) in Ghana saying “if you go to Dubai today, they’re importing Facility Managers because they want to ensure that their built environment is functioning properly. Facility Managers design, build and manage. We do more with the end-users of the facility.”

Mr. Opare Agyeman, mentioned the lack of industrial data and understanding of the value of FM by governments, business owners and financial institutions as well as the lack of adequate skilled man-power as some of the challenges militating against the IFMA.

The Head of the Building Technology Department of Sunyani Technical University, Emmanuel Nsiah Ankomah, announced that as from the next academic year, the university would offer a degree programme in Facility Management.

He explained that STU had already obtained approval from the National Council for Technical Education and currently working on the curriculum for final approval by the National Accreditation Board.

Present at the meeting were the Dean of Faculty of Built Environment and Applied Arts, Dr. Zoya Evans Kpamma and the Public Relations Officer of STU, Dickson Kyere-Duah.

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Office of the PRO


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