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Environmental and occupational health needs assessment in West Africa: opportunities for research and training

Author

Listed:
  • Edrisa Sanyang

    (School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, The University of The Gambia
    College of Public Health, The University of Iowa)

  • Jaime Butler-Dawson

    (College of Public Health, The University of Iowa)

  • Marek A. Mikulski

    (College of Public Health, The University of Iowa)

  • Thomas Cook

    (University of Iowa Healthcare)

  • Rex A. Kuye

    (School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, The University of The Gambia)

  • Kristina Venzke

    (College of Public Health, The University of Iowa)

  • Laurence J. Fuortes

    () (College of Public Health, The University of Iowa)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Edrisa Sanyang & Jaime Butler-Dawson & Marek A. Mikulski & Thomas Cook & Rex A. Kuye & Kristina Venzke & Laurence J. Fuortes, 2017. "Environmental and occupational health needs assessment in West Africa: opportunities for research and training," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 62(2), pages 317-325, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:62:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00038-016-0881-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-016-0881-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic & Dejana Vukovic & Robert Otok & Katarzyna Czabanowska & Ulrich Laaser, 2013. "Education and training of public health professionals in the European Region: variation and convergence," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(6), pages 801-810, December.
    2. Stéphanie Siron & Christian Dagenais & Valéry Ridde, 2015. "What research tells us about knowledge transfer strategies to improve public health in low-income countries: a scoping review," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(7), pages 849-863, November.
    3. Fred Paccaud & Alison Weihofen & Martina Frank, 2013. "Public Health Workforce in Switzerland: are public health workers lacking?," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(6), pages 799-800, December.
    4. Dejana Vukovic & Vesna Bjegovic-Mikanovic & Robert Otok & Katarzyna Czabanowska & Zeljka Nikolic & Ulrich Laaser, 2014. "Which level of competence and performance is expected? A survey among European employers of public health professionals," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 59(1), pages 15-30, February.
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