A group of seven University of Illinois Springfield students and three faculty members are spending their summer conducting research in Ghana, West Africa as part of an international study abroad trip.
The UIS students and faculty are investigating the prevalence and risk factors for diabetes, hypertension and hepatitis C co-infection with HIV among the Ghanaian population. They are also assessing water quality by collecting samples from local sources and testing for coliform, E. coli and other harmful properties.
The UIS delegation arrived in Ghana on June 5 and will finish their research on July 24 when they return to the United States. They are partnering with the University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Public Health in Hohoe, Ghana.
“Ghana offers opportunities for exceptional educational experiences within a diverse multi-cultural environment,” said Josiah Alamu, UIS associate professor and chair of public health. “UIS students are gaining clinical, laboratory, and fieldwork experience on this trip. They are also learning about a new culture, which will help make them better global citizens.”
In addition to Alamu, UIS faculty members Dennis Ruez, associate professor of environmental studies, and Kamau Kemayo, associate professor of African-American studies, are also part of the trip.
UIS students and faculty have previously traveled to West Africa in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 to conduct water quality and other public health assessments in The Gambia.
This is the first time that UIS has sent students to Ghana for a summer study abroad program.