Back row (From left) John H. Amuasi, Leslie Mawuli Aglanu, Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah Front row: Louis Adu-Amoah, Lady Martha Mae Wright, Isaac Osei.

Back row (From left): John H. Amuasi, Leslie Mawuli Aglanu, Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah
Front row: Louis Adu-Amoah, Lady Martha Mae Wright,  Isaac Osei

Contact

John H. Amuasi

Group leader: John H. Amuasi (BSc. MBChB. MPH. MS. PhD)

Phone: +233 3220 60351 Ext 230
E-Mail:  amuasi@kccr.de

Staff:

Isaac Osei (BSc. MBChB, MSc) : Research Fellow

Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah (BSc. MPhil. PhD) : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Louis Adu-Amoah (BSc, MPhil): Research Fellow

Leslie Mawuli Aglanu (Dip, Cert, BA, MSc): Research Fellow

Lady Martha Mae Wright (BA, MPH): Research Fellow

Overview

The current global dispensation; particularly on-going concerns with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, mental health and the epidemiological transition that has been witnessed over the past two-to-three decades, have led to the creation of this new group at KCCR. Though the debate as to what constitutes Global Health continues to rage, the link between poverty and health has been well established, and success in addressing either of them is not possible without understanding and addressing the two. Poverty cannot be appropriately and sustainably addressed without good health. It is this understanding of the link between poverty and health that led to health receiving prominence in the formulation of the SDGs and remaining high on the agenda of the G20 over the past 3 years. Change in lifestyles influenced by globalization, which has been fuelled by an unprecedented high rate and ease in both physical and media-based cross-continental exchange, have resulted in a quickly evolving epidemiological transition (both infectious and non-communicable diseases). Although inherently broad and multidisciplinary, Global Health and Infectious Disease research allows highly motivated researchers from multiple disciplines to work together to contribute to answering globally-relevant research questions applying scientifically rigorous and innovative methods.

Global Health & Infectious Diseases Group
Figure 1: An illustration of the multidisciplinary nature of Global Health. Source: http://blogs.studyinsweden.se/2016/01/12/what-is-global-health/

The Global Health and Infectious Diseases Research Group has the following core objectives:

  1. To enhance the research networking capacity and infrastructure at KCCR and make substantive contributions to the promotion of interdisciplinary collaborative research at KCCR and KNUST by members of the university community, researchers across the country and sub-region, KCCR’s research partners, and the wider international community.
  2. To enhance synergies between research, teaching and learning by providing an opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate students to receive insight and practical training in both laboratory and field research. This is expected to generate passion and commitment to research, facilitate the early identification of talent, and provide an opportunity for mentorship and career advancement towards leadership in Global Health and Infectious Disease research and development. 
  3. To provide knowledge through high quality research which will benefit the global health community by improving the clinical management, control and prevention of infectious diseases, the quality of health service delivery, and ultimately health systems and health outcomes.

Research Projects

African Research Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ARNTD)

Over the past five years, the control and elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) have become an important global health priority; having received specific mention by the White House, the G7, and as part pf the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. NTDs have come into focus based on the realization that beyond their direct negative impact on health, they contribute significantly to an ongoing cycle of poverty and stigma that leaves people unable to work, go to school, or participate in family and community life. ARNTD is the only Africa-based network that embraces all NTDs. The network was set up by globally recognized Africa-focussed NTD researchers and includes individuals from a variety of disciplines across the health, social and management sciences, including policy makers and program managers. ARNTD has over 150 active members spread across over 30 countries, including Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone African countries and members in the diaspora. The ARNTD has a robust administrative and accounting set-up with a legally registered Secretariat hosted by the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), a Management Board and an Advisory Board which includes, but is not limited to prominent African NTD researchers and advocates. Read more about the ARNTD here.

African coaLition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT)

ALERRT is a multi-disciplinary consortium building a patient-centered clinical research network to respond to epidemics across sub-Saharan Africa. ALERRT aims to reduce the public health and socio-economic impact of disease outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa by building a sustainable clinical and laboratory research preparedness and response network. ALERRT consists of 21 partner organizations from 13 countries (9 African and 4 European). ALERRT combines the strengths of leading African and European partners in epidemic-prone infectious diseases research. We are committed to delivering an agile research response that supports national, regional and global health security initiatives. The Workpackage 4 of ALERRT is being led from KCCR, and is working towards establishing a response framework that alleviates administrative, regulatory and ethical bottlenecks and mobile-research capabilities that together ensure ALERRT can act swiftly to initiate fit-for-purpose clinical and laboratory research in varying settings within SSA in case of actual REPID threats. Read more about ALERRT here.

Enhancing Research Activity in Epidemic Situations (ERAES) programme

Over the past year, there has been an increasing incidence of invasive meningitis disease in SHS in Ghana. We are investigating the epidemiology of meningococcal carriage in the Kumasi Academy Senior High School and selected SHS in the Ashanti Region of Ghana (Characterization of carriage isolates of Neisseria meningitidis in students of KUMACA). This is based on the hypothesis that meningococcal carriage studies are important to improve our understanding of the epidemiology of meningococcal disease. Because a large majority of infections with meningococci result only in a period of asymptomatic pharyngeal carriage and not clinical disease, the epidemiology of meningococcal disease can be understood fully only if pharyngeal carriage is studied in addition to invasive disease. We are also investigating the seroprevalence of serogroup-specific IgG antibody concentrations against Neisseria meningitidis serogroups and factors associated with increased antibody concentrations in the student population of Kumasi Academy Senior High School. This is also based on the fact that it is still not fully understood how epidemics continue to occur. A significant factor that could explain this phenomenon is the background level of immunity of the population when confronted with a potentially epidemic strain.

Collaboration with AG MAY on the following projects:

  • Biomarker – Diagnosis of Malaria in Co-Infections (POC-Mal)
  • Prevalence and transmission routes of antibiotic resistance genes: ESBL and MCR-1 in rural area of Ashanti Region of Ghana
  • Recurrent Malaria after Artemisinin based Combination Therapy in an Endemic Area (ReACT)

See the AG MAY page for details.

Skills for Excellence In Science Series (SEXISS)

The SEXISS is a series of workshops which run at various times during the year. The series is aimed at promoting excellence in science medical, bio-medical and advanced nursing practitioners, graduate students and early-mid career scientists. The workshops cover areas such as concepts of Scientific Writing with special emphasis on proposal development for grant application; manuscript writing for publications; basic skills in epidemiology with STATA (BASES) and other topical areas. SEXISS is designed to equip participants with the fundamental principles and technical know-how to improve their scientific output in research, academia, or career in any health or biomedical field. The workshops combine lectures with case studies and hands-on exercises designed to equip participants with practical and contextual knowledge.

 

Snakebite epidemiology and outcomes in Ghana

Snakebite has been included in the WHO list of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) since 2017 and has also been declared as a problem of global heath significance by the WHO at the 2018 World Health Assembly. The group is in the early stages of planning a hospital and community survey to assess the prevalence and economic burden of snakebite in Ghana.

Most Recent Publications

  1. Kwarteng A, Amuasi J, Annan A, Ahuno S, Opare D, Nagel M, et al. Current meningitis outbreak in Ghana: Historical perspectives and the importance of diagnostics. Acta Tropica. 2017 May;169:51–6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.01.014
  2. Owusu, M., Owusu-Dabo, E., Acheampong, G., Osei, I., Amuasi, J., Sarpong, N., … Adu-Sarkodie, Y. (2017). Pseudomonas oryzihabitans sepsis in a 1-year-old child with multiple skin rashes: a case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13256-017-1230-6
  3. Amuasi, J. H. (2017). Improving estimation of ACT treatment coverage in Africa. The Lancet Global Health, 5(4), e375–e376. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30087-6
  4. Winkler, A., Klohe, K., Schmidt, V., Haavardsson, I., Abraham, A., Prodjinotho, U., … Amuasi, J.,…Prazeres da Costa, C. (2018). Neglected tropical diseases – the present and the future. Tidsskrift for Den Norske Legeforening, (3). https://doi.org/10.4045/tidsskr.17.0678
  5. Mazigo, H. D., Amuasi, J. H., Osei, I., & Kinung’hi, S. M. (2018). Integrating use of point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen rapid diagnostic tests by community health workers during mass drug administration campaigns to improve uptake of praziquantel treatment among the adult population at Kome Island, North-Western Tanzania: a cluster randomized community trial. BMC Public Health, 18, 840. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5732-y

Funding

  • European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
  • Volkswagen Foundation (VW foundation)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
  • Bernhard Nocht Institute of Tropical Medicine (BNITM)