Beatrice Wiafe Addai, MD, PhD, signs a memorandum of understanding between her non-governmental organizations and Loma Linda University.
By BRIAN WEED
Beatrice Wiafe Addai, MD, PhD, a breast surgeon in Ghana, signed a memorandum of understanding in July with the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Peace and Love Hospitals and Breast Care International, Dr. Wiafe's non-government organizations, "formally agree to work in partnership to develop and implement public health-related projects for the purpose of enhancing services delivery to improve public health, healthcare services, program development, and workforce development," according to the memorandum.
Dr. Wiafe hopes that the agreement will lead to increased early recognition, detection, and treatment of breast cancer—and more saved lives. "People are dying because of lack of knowledge and ignorance," Dr. Wiafe says. "Somebody has to start something someday. And maybe I'm the one to start it."
Based on her work with breast cancer patients, Dr. Wiafe knows all too well the need for a cure. That is why she chaired the Susan G. Komen Ghana Race for the Cure, the first event of its kind in West Africa. The event gained attention from the government of Ghana—including the vice president of Ghana and the deputy minister of health—as well as United States vice president Joe Biden and his wife.
John Morgan, DrPH, and Larry Beeson, DrPH, discuss potential projects in Ghana with Dr. Wiafe.
Dr. Wiafe's brother, Seth Wiafe, MPH, GISP, is an assistant professor for the School of Public Health's geoinformatics programs. Mr. Wiafe says that even if he were not Beatrice's brother, he would still support her work in his home country.
"This is a historical moment as we journey through this process," he said as his sister signed the collaboration agreement documents. Mr. Wiafe and Jesse Bliss, MPH, assistant dean for public health practice, visited Ghana in February to assist with breast cancer screenings and health education events. It was during that visit that they decided to proceed with developing the formal collaboration agreement.
Dr. Wiafe explains her passion for public health in Ghana with her Larry Beeson, DrPH, John Morgan, DrPH, and Seth Wiafe, MPH.
The agreement broadly outlines the collaboration between the entities, including "the development of community-based public health programs, and health administration through training and resource sharing."
School of Public Health faculty involved with the project include Mr. Wiafe, Mr. Bliss, Larry Beeson, DrPH, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics; Jayakaran Job, MD, DrPH, chair of the global health department; John Morgan, DrPH, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics; and Padma Uppala, PhD, associate professor of environmental and occupational health. Staff members involved with potential grant funding, drafting the agreement, and coordinating projects include Walleska Bliss, MPH; Semran Mann, MPH; and Manjit Randhawa, MD.
The agreement was signed by Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, Loma Linda University president. It is effective for three years and will renew automatically every three years unless terminated by either organization.
Dr. Wiafe displays the MOUs with an excited team of School of Public Health faculty and staff and her family looking on.