The HIA4SD project partner in Ghana is the University of Health and Allied Sciences. In 2019, the project conducted focus group discussions and interviews in communities near three major gold mining projects in the Upper Denkyira West district, the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal district and the Asutifi North Municipal. A wide range of local stakeholders, including representatives from the mines, the health care sector and community members were consulted to understand local perceptions of health impacts. In addition, interviews with stakeholders at the central-level within Ministries, mining companies and civil society organizations were conducted to discuss potential policy options for managing health impacts of mining projects.
The results from the first phase of the HIA4SD project have been summarized in a series of documents:
Dialogue meeting held with EPA in Accra
A policy dialogue meeting was convended with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Accra on 30 September 2023.
The objective of the meeting was to communicate key findings of the HIA4SD project and to discuss various policy options to strengthen the consideration of health impacts in current impact assessment practice. The meeting was chaired by EPA’s Deputy Executive Director and attend by 22 participants from different department and units.
During the discussions, the group delved into crucial questions regarding potential policy avenues, the necessary capacities, and methods of collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service. Various measures were considered, including the gradual integration of public health considerations into existing EIA regulations or the implementation of a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework. Another suggestion involved mandating the development of public health management plans, ensuring proactive health considerations in all projects. Additionally, there was an emphasis on establishing a structured system for continuous public health monitoring.
Group photo of the dialogue meeting at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Multi-stakeholder meeting in Accra
A diversity of stakeholders participated in a multisector meeting in Accra on 17 August 2021 that initiated the policy dialogue phase. The objective of the meeting was to provide an update of the HIA4SD project and to discuss various policy options to improve public health in the context of large-scale mining projects. The stakeholders included representatives from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Ghana chamber of mines, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), local government service, research and academic institutions and civil society organizations.
The meeting offered the opportunity to present empirical evidence of the impacts of industrial mining projects on health as well as key findings from the Q-Study on potential public sector policy directions. These results can be found in the impact and governance workstream policy briefs. After the presentations, stakeholders took part in a participatory activity to identify specific actions or activities to strengthen the next phase of the project and actors who have a responsibility for implementation. Expected activities for the next phase of the project were also shared by project leaders.
The presentations of the workshop can be found here.
Group photo of the representatives of the various sectors participating in the stakeholder meeting
How can large infrastructure developments impact health in communities and how can health impact assessment (HIA) serve as a tool to address such impacts?
This was the leading question for two three-day HIA courses that took place between 2 and 4 May and 23 and 25 August 2022, respectively. In the capital of Ghana, a total of 28 academics from various backgrounds met in the two courses to gain an overview of the practical steps involved in an HIA and to discuss how a HIA can be promoted in Ghana. It involved a well-balanced mix of teaching and learning methods. The participants gained a thorough understanding of the concepts and processes of conducting a HIA. Although HIA is a relatively new field in Ghana, they agreed on its relevance and discussed on country-specific chances and potential issues to implement it.
Click here for the complete training report for the first training (English).
Click here for detailed information on training possibilities.
Active exchange and discussions among participants