UHAS Scientist Institutes Scholarship to Promote Females in STEM

Professor Margaret Gyapong, Director of the Institute of Health Research at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS)

Professor Margaret Gyapong, Director of the Institute of Health Research at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) has set up a scholarship scheme to empower female students and academics in the field of health and allied sciences.

The scholarship named after the Professor’s late mother -Dora Gertrude Quaye Scholarship Fund- was set up with a seed donation of 20,000 Euros to provide financial assistance to needy but brilliant female students of UHAS.

The donation was Prof. Margaret Gyapong’s money for winning the Most Outstanding Female Scientist in October 2021 by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).

As the head of Health Research at UHAS, the world-acclaimed Scientist has attracted research grants to the 10-year-old university worth millions of dollars. The scholarship scheme is therefore part of a bigger mentorship programme of the University that is named after her; -Prof. Margaret Gyapong Mentorship Programme for Female Students and Academics-.

The Programme is the University’s way to celebrate the achievements and scholarship of Prof. Magaret Gyapong in the field of health research and also to provide mentorship, training, guidance, and support for young girls to also aspire for excellence in their chosen fields of endeavor.

Speaking at the maiden lecture to launch the Mentorship Programme recently, Prof. Margaret Gyapong said the initiative was borne out of her desire to motivate young girls and academics to go all out in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations.

It is also to provide a platform for experienced accomplished women to interact with younger ones and inspire them to greatness.

Prof. Gyapong added that the scholarship scheme was her way of giving back to others, a virtue imbibed in her by her late mother, who has been instrumental in her life, education, and career since her father died when she was nine years old.

Maiden lecture

The maiden lecture was delivered by Prof. Esi Awuah, the foundation Vice Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), on the theme, ‘Harnessing the Potential of Today’s Girl-Child for the Future.’

She noted that the girl-child is special, with their unique challenges, hence must be protected by all in society. They are also full of potential, which must be nurtured and guided, to their individual and collective benefit by “creating a conducive environment for the holistic development of the girl-child.”

“These are girls who will change the dynamics of not only their families but Ghana as a whole. We must make it our duty to ensure that they are safe and protected from all forms of harm, danger, and violence and this includes child marriage,” she stressed.

Prof. Awuah noted that while parents and guardians are playing their role, young girls must be environmentally conscious. They should also be committed to pursuing ventures in academia, industry, and other spheres to be economically grounded, so as not to fall prey to social vices and pressures.

“Take decisions and plan for your life. Learn to work with your hands and do not limit yourself to socially assigned gender roles,”she counselled.

The lecture which was held at the Cedi Auditorium at UHAS permanent campus was attended by female students from Mawuli School, OLA Senior High, Mawuko Girls Senior High, Sonrise, Sokode Secondary Technical School, faculty, staff, and students of UHAS.

The outgoing Vice Chancellor of UHAS, Professor John Gyapong, who chaired the ceremony, said the initiative was novel in the university and worthy of emulation.

According to him, the scholarship fund would go a long way to nurture a lot more female leaders and scholars from vulnerable backgrounds.

He, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to donate towards the sustainability of the fund.

From Fred Duodu, Ho (k.duodu@yahoo.com)