In Ghana, health is one of the key areas through which the country tries to create wealth and reduce poverty. The role of health in the quality of human capital is universally known. Ghana’s approach to improving the quality of health involves a gradual shift of emphasis from curative health to health promotion. The paradigm shift has created the need to develop a new generation of health personnel with a new orientation toward health promotion. This new orientation requires the services of top leadership personnel to develop, monitor, evaluate and shape relevant health systems and strategies that will lead to achieving national health goals and objectives. The doctorate in Health Promotion is meant to open dialogue in the new directions of health care delivery and produce personnel who will use the knowledge and skills to redirect the health delivery system toward health promotion.
Since its inception in 1986, the Department of HPER has turned out several cohorts of bachelor’s degree holders in Physical Education. In pursuance of living by its name, the undergraduate programme was reviewed in 2004 and a minor concentration area in health education was introduced. This was followed by a master of philosophy in Health Education in 2005.
Meanwhile, the greatest challenge of the Department has been the difficulty in attracting teaching staff. The current policy to set the preferred requirement for teaching positions in the university to doctorate degree, though long overdue, has come to compound the staffing problem as there is no department or institution in Ghana running doctorate degrees relevant to our staffing needs. Indeed, as the first department to run an MPhil in Health Education, which has attracted patronage from many relevant institutions, the expectation is that the Department will run a doctorate programme to provide continuity.
GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
To produce scholars with expertise in health research and health promotion to assume teaching and research positions in academic and research institutions.
The objectives are to:
- Conduct comprehensive health needs assessment.
- Translate theory and research knowledge into health promotion interventions.
- Design, implement, and evaluate health promotion programmes in various settings.
- Conduct original research on the identification of the determinants of health.
- Advocate for health interventions in vulnerable groups.
The PhD is a 3-year programme with three main components: coursework (21 credits), seminars, and thesis. The programme has three areas of specialisation, which are
- Environmental and Occupational Health Promotion;
- Community Health Promotion; and
- Maternal and Child Health Promotion.