The Centre for Health System Strengthening (CfHSS) has held its second workshop for Laboratory scientists on Sequencing and Bioinformatics at the City Escape Hotel from the 17th-21st May, 2021. The Workshop was held in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The objective of the Sequencing and Bioinformatics workshop was to support participants in understanding some basic applications of bioinformatics and sequencing technologies and their applications in infectious disease diagnosis.
The course structure covered seven modules:
Introduction to Bioinformatics
Introduction to Linux
Introduction to sequencing technologies
Bacterial genome analysis
Viral genome analysis with focus on SARS-COV-2
Participants for this workshop were staff from the Tamale Public Health laboratory, Sekondi Public Health laboratory, Navrongo Health Research Institute, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Kintampo Health Research Institute and the Kumasi Public Health Laboratory.
Group photograph of participants, CfHSS team and the Director General for Ghana Health Service
Workshop kick started on Monday, 17th May 2021 with a welcome address from the Director of Public Health, Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe who welcomed participants and implored them to obtain as much information and knowledge from the training as possible. Keynote speaker, Professor Gordon Awandare, Director for WACCBIP gave the importance for a workshop such as this and its necessity in our public health system. Mr. Bernard Nkrumah, Laboratory Adviser for CDC, also appreciated participants and assured them that the CDC is prepared to help build our public health system.
Seasoned resource persons were consulted and took participants through the 5 days workshop. They include Dr. Lucas Amenga-Etego (WACCBIP), Mr. Bright Agbodzi (NMIMR), Mr. Collins Misita Morang’a (WACCBIP), Ms. Selassie Sawyerr Kumordjie (NMIMR), Dr. Beverly Egyir (NMIMR), Dr. Kofi Bonney (NMIMR) and Dr. Kwabena Duedu (UHAS). Participants were taken through theoretical and computer-based practical session for all training modules. A Pre-test was done to assess the level of knowledge in Sequencing and Bioinformatics at the beginning of the workshop and a Post-test to assess how much knowledge participants have consumed at the end of the training. Participants were also placed into six teams and gave presentations on different aspects of Phylogenetic trees and Primer design where teams were graded. The Centre for Health System Strengthening awarded the first and second runners-up as well as the overall best team for their good presentations.
Closing remarks was given by the Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye who appreciated the efforts of CfHSS and CDC in bringing change through building capacities in the laboratories. He then appreciated the good work being done by laboratory scientists especially during this global pandemic. A total of twenty (20) laboratory scientists partook in the training.
GHS – Ghana Health Service
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
UHAS – University of Health and Allied Sciences
NMIMR – Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
WACCBIP – West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens