Environmental and occupational health needs assessment in West Africa: opportunities for research and training
Abstract Objectives Data are lacking on environmental and occupational health risks and resources available for the prevention of related diseases in the West African subregion. Methods A needs assessment survey was conducted to identify environmental and occupational health concerns, and needs and strategies for skills training in the region. The survey was followed by a consensus-building workshop to discuss research and training priorities with representatives from countries participating in the study. Results Two hundred and two respondents from 12 countries participated in the survey. Vector-borne diseases, solid waste, deforestation, surface and ground water contamination together with work-related stress, occupational injury and pesticide toxicity were ranked as top environmental and occupational health priorities, respectively, in the region. Top training priorities included occupational health, environmental toxicology and analytic laboratory techniques with semester-long Africa-based courses as the preferred type of training for the majority of the courses. Major differences were found between the subregion’s three official language groups, both in perceived health risks and training courses needed. Conclusions The study results have implications for regional policies and practice in the area of environmental and occupational health research and training.
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Volume (Year): 62 (2017)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
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