Ensign Global College announces public health study on impact of Akosombo Dam spillage

Ensign Global College, a private not-for-profit institution specializing in public health, has revealed plans to conduct an in-depth research study on the public health impact of the Akosombo Dam spillage in the Volta Region.

The devastating flooding, triggered by the release of excess water from the Akosombo Hydro-electric Dam, displaced an estimated 35,857 people, with women and children being the most affected, according to a UNICEF report.

The study, scheduled for publication in March 2024, aims to scientifically investigate and publish findings that will shed light on the health consequences of the disaster and provide valuable recommendations.

Ensign Global College, being a public health institution, asserts that it possesses the necessary expertise and personnel to undertake this crucial research initiative.

The Bakpa Awadiwoe-Kome community within the Adidome area has been identified as the focal point for the study, allowing for a focused examination of the impact on the vulnerable population.

Dr. Stephen Manortey, the Director of the Academic Program at Ensign Global College, has explained that the research objectives include assessing the disaster’s effects on mental health, trauma experienced by individuals, and preventive measures for the future.

Dr. Manortey stated, “We want to focus on the health impact but will spread our tentacles a little bit into other areas.”

The findings of the study, expected to be published in the first week of March 2024, are anticipated to contribute significantly to understanding the immediate and long-term health implications of the Akosombo Dam spillage.

The announcement regarding the research initiative coincided with a collaborative effort between Ensign Global College and the NGO Engage Now Africa (ENA). This collaboration involved the donation of relief items and food amounting to over GHC150,000 to victims of the spillage on December 18, 2023.

ENA’s Country Director, Cecilia Amankwah, explained that the donation was motivated by their prior engagement with the affected communities through adult literacy, skills training, and human trafficking programs.

Items donated included bags of rice, beans, gari, maize, edible palm oil, detergents, mosquito nets, toiletries, sanitary pads, exercise books, pens, pencils, erasers, toilet rolls, and water purifying tablets.

Notably, toiletries and edible palm oil were produced by beneficiaries of ENA’s skills training program, targeting both women and men.

Chief of Bakpa Awadiwoe-Kome, Torgbe Sakpiti V, expressed gratitude for the collaborative support from Engage Now Africa and Ensign Global College, assuring that the donated items would be distributed appropriately to the residents and their families.

The research initiative and collaborative efforts underscore the commitment of both institutions to addressing the immediate needs of the affected communities and contributing to the understanding and mitigation of the long-term effects of the Akosombo Dam spillage.

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