Family and Reproductive Health (DPFRH) is one of the six foundation departments in the School of Public Health. The Department was established in June 2014 alongside the School of Public Health and currently has three full-time staff and 12 part-time/adjunct staff/presenters.
In line with the vision of the School of Public Health – a veritable social movement that supports collective public health action at all levels of society – the DPFRH has the vision of a veritable social movement (a social vaccine), that supports collective population, family, and reproductive health action at all levels – personal, family, household, community, national, regional, global and planetary - under the mantra of ‘technology for public health improvement.’ By pursuing this philosophy, the Department will become the most competitive centre of excellence, and preferred destination for family and reproductive health training, research, and community service in Africa. Our objectives are: to protect and promote health and wellbeing, to prevent disease and disability, to eliminate conditions that harm health and wellbeing, and to foster resilience and adaptation. The DFPRH seeks to promote knowledge as a major source of social transformation, and the right to realize progressively, the highest attainable levels of health and wellbeing. Together with empowered individuals and communities, we can demand family and reproductive. health action from political and traditional leadership at all levels. By conducting cutting-edge translational research in family and reproductive health, we shall be seeking to translate science into evidence-based policies, programmes, and practice – advancing knowledge in science and technology for sustainable development. The DPFRH will work as an innovator, partner, advocate, and convener to bridge the gap between knowledge and implementation, and promote access to universal health care under the guise of the life course approach to reproductive health.
The Department is one of the very few academic institutions in Africa that runs graduate programs specific to population, family, and reproductive health with a flagship course in leadership for health systems transformation in developing countries. Additionally, the current paradigm emphasis in public health calls for a more open knowledge systems approach – where evidence-based family and reproductive health knowledge/information is made available to all, in a language that is understandable and in forms that meet the needs of all communities and households in an equitable manner. The new planetary perspective to our challenges invites us to rethink the way in which knowledge is produced and used by society. The DPFRH has adopted Gyinase (near KNUST) as a pilot family and reproductive health community. Steps are underway to conduct a population-based situation analysis, and based on the outcome, community-directed strategies will be developed to address the family and reproductive health challenges. The DPFRH will work closely with the various communities and district/municipal health directorates to promote the more open knowledge systems approach to family and reproductive health in these communities. The Department will seek to promote knowledge as one source of social transformation, and the right to realize progressively, the highest attainable levels of reproductive health and wellbeing. Together with empowered communities, we can demand health action from leadership at all levels.
Partnerships and Collaboration
The Department’s current network of collaborators is extensive and comprehensive. We collaborate with population and reproductive health research scientists of international repute in the following highly acknowledged academic settings: the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Utah, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, Georgetown University, the University of Louisville and Columbia University (all in the USA), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Loughborough University (UK), the Academic Medical Centre and the University of Applied Sciences (the Netherlands), and the Bernhard Notch Institute of Tropical Medicine and the University of Greifswald (Germany). In addition we have links with public health institutions in Nigeria, Liberia, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya and Egypt. Locally, we partner the University of Ghana-School of Public Health, the Catholic University College of Ghana, the University for Development Studies, the University of Cape Coast, the Garden City University College, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Statistical Service, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and various civil society groups and non-governmental organizations in health, to conduct top-notch public health research with the view to improve public health outcomes nationally and internationally.
• Brief of each Programme offered in the Department
The Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health offers the following programs: MSc Population and Reproductive Health, MPH Population and Reproductive Health, short courses in: Family Planning Counselling and Contraceptive update and Leadership for Health Systems Transformation, and in partnership with the Office of the Dean, SPH, a PhD in Public Health. These programs are based on a strong commitment to the use of competence-based education and training (CBET) methods and materials to ensure that the residents of the training programs are well-trained reproductive health champions capable of addressing the myriad of family and reproductive health challenges that are present in developing countries. The Masters programs are offered as regular and weekend programs.
Entry Requirement for each programme:
To qualify for admission into the MSc/MPH (Population and Reproductive Health) program, the applicant should have a good first degree (at least 2nd Class Lower), preferably in any of the life sciences such as medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing, public health, environmental health, pharmacy or health-related sectors such as the social sciences, development, and education. The first degree should be from a recognized University/College. In addition, applicants should have had at least two years post-graduation work/job experience.
To qualify for admission into the MPH (Population and Reproductive Health) programme, the applicant must in addition commit to undertaking a 3-month field residency programme in a rural health district under the supervision of the District Director of Health Services who has an MPH degree. The MSc applicant must commit to undertaking a 3-month residency programme in institutions of public interest other than a rural health district; examples of such institutions are the National Population Council, District/Municipal/Metropolitan assemblies, the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ghana Education Service, Population Council, United Nations agencies (WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF), bilateral agencies (DFID, USAID, DANIDA, GTZ), health-related NGOs/CSOs and/or health research institutions such the Navrongo Health Research Centre/Dodowa Health Research Centre/Kintampo Health Research Centre, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research.
These shall be in accordance with the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as spelt out in the student brochure titled: “Entry Requirements & General Regulations for Graduate Programmes.” For the award of the MSc/MPH degree, the resident must have obtained a minimum of 36 credit hours, including the submission and successful defense of a dissertation.
In addition, the MSc resident would have undertaken the 12-week apprenticeship field residency programme at sites of public health interest such as the National Population Council, District/Municipal/Metropolitan assemblies, the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ghana Education Service, Population Council, United Nations agencies (WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF), bilateral agencies (DFID, USAID, DANIDA, GTZ), health-related NGOs/CSOs and/or health research institutions such the Navrongo Health Research Centre/Dodowa Health Research Centre/Kintampo Health Research Centre.
For the MPH resident, in addition to meeting the requirements as spelt out in the student brochure titled: “Entry Requirements & General Regulations for Graduate Programmes,” the resident must have undertaken a 12-week field residency programme in a rural health district under the supervision of the District Director of Health Services who must have an MPH degree. The MPH/MSc Population and Reproductive Health program is offered on full-time basis only. A student shall complete her/his programme of study not later than twenty-four months from the date of registration, in accordance with the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies as spelt out in the student brochure titled: “Entry Requirements & General Regulations for Graduate Programmes.” Any student who fails to complete the programme within the approved twenty-four months from the date of registration, without prior approval from the Department, would be considered to have abandoned the programme.
Students who graduate are looking forward to being employed as managers, experts, and consultants in population, family, and reproductive health programmes at all levels of the health and development sectors. The health training institutions and other academic spheres offer an additional window of opportunity for employment. The health and health-related non-Governmental Organizations, Faith-based Organizations, Community-based Organizations, and Civil society Organizations also add to the employment opportunities for graduates of the Population and Reproductive Health programme. The Ministry of Health (Ghana Health Service, Health training institutions), private sector institutions, the education sector, the local government service and, multilateral (UN agencies) and bilateral agencies (USAID, DfID, DANIDA, CIDA) organisations offer a wide array of employment opportunities.