The Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety was instated under the auspices of the Ghana-Michigan Chapter research, Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) program in the year 2009, to focus on Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Policies. In the year 2015, the U.S. National Institute of Health /Fogarty International Center, in partnership with the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and through the GEOHealth, the Department was initiated to the current Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) MPH/MSC program.
To become a center of excellence in training and conducting cutting-edge research needed for formulation and updates of occupational and environmental health and safety policies for service delivery to propel Ghana towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals.
The Department of OEHS exists primarily to create enabling platforms for enhancement of knowledge and understanding of the associations between human life, human activities, environment, and health; acquisition of skill sets for the identification and quantification of environmental and occupational hazards; and development of effective, efficient, cost-effective, culturally acceptable and sustainable intervention strategies to control the hazards and promote quality of life.
The programme is designed to provide high-quality multidisciplinary training in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS); equip graduates with knowledge, skills, and tools that fit into many sectors of the economy; undertake cutting-edge research, and implement OEHS policies and guidelines to improve the health of people.
Specifically, the programme seeks to:
- equip graduates with skills and competencies that will enhance identification and control of health risks posed to communities and workers via exposure to certain physical, chemical, and biological factors from their environment/occupational settings.
- produce well-trained graduates who would be able to demonstrate an understanding of the theory, research, and practice of public health in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety situations.
- provide outstanding, comprehensive academic training in occupational and environmental health and safety that will prepare graduates to pursue careers and assume leadership roles in public health practice and/or cutting-edge research.
- produce and facilitate evidence-based policies to guide the implementation of OEHS programmes in public and private institutions.
Located in the science and technology university, our department has at its disposal a cream of experts in other sciences, technologies, and humanities which could be tapped to advance our vision. The department has another geographical advantage since it is located almost at the center of Ghana thus attracting a lot of potential students and the general public.
Partnership and collaboration
The Department has bilateral and multilateral relationships with development partners such as WHO, and other UN agencies. We work in close collaboration with the traditional authorities, metropolis, municipals, districts, agencies, non-governmental and private sectors in Ghana and beyond.
There are many career prospects for students who graduate from the Occupational and Environmental Health & Safety programme in all the sectors and levels of decision-making (National, Regional, Municipal/District, Agencies, Community, and Household). The programme is designed to equip graduates with knowledge, skills, and tools that fit into many public and private sectors of the Ghanaian and African economies, including:
- The agricultural sector (cocoa and other farming ventures, agrochemical activities, animal rearing ventures, and fisheries)
- Extraction (petroleum, oil and gas exploration, extraction and refining, petrochemical industry, the Mines Inspectorate; mining companies, stone, and sand quarrying)
- Manufacturing (Factories and Mills; Factories Inspectorate)
- Energy and power generation (hydroelectric companies, thermal, gas pipeline, and oil companies)
- Transport Industry (for instance at the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), Road Safety Commission, City Transit Organizations – Railways, Seaports, and Airports)
- Financial and Service industries to ensure safe working environments
Additionally, graduates can set up their own consultancies in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety.
To qualify to read the MSc//MPH (Occupational and Environmental Health & Safety) programme, the applicant should have a good first degree (at least 2nd class lower) from a recognized tertiary institution preferably in any of the Natural Sciences such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy or health-related disciplines, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Education, etc. In addition, applicants should have had at least two years post-graduation work/job experience. The final selection will be done through either a written examination or by a panel interview or both, which will be decided by the School of Public Health Board.
The KNUST-School of Public Health runs two tracks; regular and weekend. We are equipped to handle at least twenty-five (25) students per track each year. Enrolment will be expanded as and when resources are improved to meet the expansion in intake. All lectures take place at the KNUST-School of Public Health while fieldwork takes place at various sites of environmental and occupational health and safety interest across Ghana.
Students are assessed in the theory-based courses through a systematic programme of continuous assessments (including class participation and attendance) carried out each semester. Continuous assessments make up 40% of the final semester grade while the end-of-semester examination takes up 60%. The pass mark for a course is 50% and a CWA of 55 is required to be in good academic standing.
Requirements for Graduation
This is in accordance with the KNUST’s requirements as contained in the University Statutes and the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. For a Public Health programme to meet the international standards and gain recognition, the programme must attain between 36 and 80 credit hours. This programme requires a minimum of 36 credit hours in line with international standards. For the award of MSc/MPH (Occupational and Environmental Health & Safety), the student must have obtained a minimum of 36 credit hours including the submission and successful defense of a written Thesis.