NEWS ARCHIVE 2010 - 14

K NANKANA E: NHRC establishes welfare fund

The Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) has instituted a provident fund for its staff into which the authorities pay 40 Ghana Cedis per staff per month to give the workers some financial cushioning at their retirement. In addition, the Centre has put in place a 200,000 Ghana Cedi staff revolving loan fund for the staff with very low interest rates ranging from 5% to 10%.


Date Created : 5/12/2014 3:25:17 PM : Story Author : GhanaDistrict.Com

The Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC) has instituted a provident fund for its staff into which the authorities pay 40 Ghana Cedis per staff per month to give the workers some financial cushioning at their retirement. In addition, the Centre has put in place a 200,000 Ghana Cedi staff revolving loan fund for the staff with very low interest rates ranging from 5% to 10%.

The Director of the NHRC, Dr. Abraham Oduro disclosed these at a grand durbar held over the weekend at the Centre’s premises in Navrongo to climax a series of activities marking its 25th Anniversary under the theme: “25 years of scientific contribution to public health”. Dedicating the Silver Jubilee to the pioneers and founding fathers of the research centre, Dr. Oduro paid glowing tributes to the founding fathers and pioneer crop of staff saying that their enormous efforts and sacrifices which have brought the Centre to its current stature nationally and globally as a premier health research institute have been duly recognized by all beneficiaries of the Centre’s work.

He noted that the jubilee also presented the right platform for the commendation of all traditional rulers in the Kassena-Nankana Districts and their people for the hospitality and cooperation the centre received from them during its inception in 1988 first as a field station and through its transformation to what it has become today. He also thanked all collaborators and partners including the Navrongo War Memorial Hospital for being a close ally through the years and stressed that such collaboration must continue and be strengthened.

According to Dr. Oduro, the jubilee was an opportunity to show the world how an indigenous African Centre of Excellence has been successful without direct core support whilst it equally affords authorities of the centre an avenue to reposition the Navrongo Health Research Centre as a leading health research institute in Ghana and in Africa.

Touching on how the NHRC came into existence, the doctor revealed that it started in November 1988 as Vitamin A Supplementation Trial field station and was locally known and called VAST. It was the result of a collaboration involving the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Kwame University of Science and Technology and Ghana’s Ministry of Health. NHRC is the first of three health research centres operated by the Ministry of Health including those of Kintampo and Dodowa.

Dr. Oduro further revealed that by 1992 when the Vitamin A trail project ended, the Ministry of Health upgraded the site to a health research centre with the mandate to investigate health and demographic problems affecting the Northern parts of Ghana and beyond. Since then, the centre has been at the forefront of health research in Ghana with majority of its findings being the basis for national health policy decisions.

On the way forward, Dr. Oduro said the NHRC will seek additional strategic funding and academic alliances as well as set up standards and guidelines for retaining scientific staff.

A past director of the Centre, Dr. Abraham Hodgson who spoke on behalf of the Director General of the Ghana Health Service observed that Ghana’s Ministry of Health is one of a few ministries of health in Africa which have a well-developed research division set up to research into health problems facing the people so as to inform policy decisions in order to improve the health of the people.

Dr. Hodgson added that the Research and Development Division to which these health research centres belong was established in 2009 as the 10th Division of the Ghana Health Service with a mandate to generate information through relevant research to strengthen decision making, set health priorities, ensure efficient resource allocation and inform appropriate health intervention planning and implementation.

The Kassena-Nankana Municipal Chief Executive, Dr. Stanislaus A. Kadingdi who represented the Navrongo Central MP, Hon. Mark Owen Woyongo commended the Navrongo Health Research Centre for the numerous it has chalked over the years in promoting health in his municipality and beyond.

Dr. Kadingdi disclosed that for the assembly’s part, a number of medical and nursing students have been sponsored to study at various institutions and will soon complete and return home to work in the health facilities across the municipality and in neighbouring districts.

Several awards were presented to some hard working staff both past and present, traditional authorities, allied institutions, the Rocky Fella Foundation and the USAID who are two key financiers of the research centre’s work. Meanwhile, Mr. Julius Ayuure was posthumously awarded for designing the official logo of the Navrongo Health Research Centre.

The Anniversary also saw the Upper East Regional Minister commission a modern administration block on behalf of President John Dramani Mahama. The block is named after Prof.  Fred Newtown Binka, the founding director of the Navrongo Health Research Centre.

ISD