The College of Health Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) is collaborating with Veterinary Scientists to develop animal breed for effective research into diseases that transmit from animals to humans.

Officials of the college say the initiatives are informed by the recent cases of the H1N1 influenza or swine flu.

Attention will also be given to how it contributes to non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer which currently account for 60 percent of mortality worldwide.

Speaking at the College 2nd Scientific Conference in Kumasi, the Provos, Professor Peter Donkor, said the two-day session would explore socio-economic and dieting behaviour and other factors that cause non-communicable diseases.

The World Health Organization(WHO) estimates serious complications of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cancer would become pronounced in Africa as people grow older.

Prof. Donkor said recommendations from the forum would be developed into a comprehensive health education programme based on sound behavioral principles.

He called on government to formulate laws and policies to regulate treatment of animals for human consumption.

“We as health practitioners are expected to be advocates, we have to go to the schools, the communities, and workplaces…we have to undertake screening exercises”.

According to him, “we lack data on the true prevalence of these conditions in our environment”, adding, the recent attention on the H1N1 influenza or swine flu tells us that we ignore the health of animals…”.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST has assured that the university will continue to help in research into communicable diseases.

Source: Elton John Brobbey/