MONROVIA – Renowned Liberian doctor and biomedical scientist, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan has conducted a clinical public health workshop for clinicians, public health students, faculty and policy makers in collaboration with two Liberian academic institutions, the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) and the University of Liberia (UL) in continuation of his 2024 National Volunteer-Service in Liberia.
“Unsanitary environments are breeding grounds for a number of diseases, including infectious and noncommunicable diseases,” said Dr. Nyan.
The public health specialist and inventor, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan lectured about water sanitation to ensure safe drinking water, proper disposal of household, biological, and industrial wastes, maintaining personal hygienic practices, and providing a clean environment to preventing diseases.
Dr. Nyan highlighted environmental issues concerning street-side dumpsites around Monrovia as well as public health problems created by the abandoned Wein Town landfill which is about 15 miles outside of Monrovia.
Recent research conducted about the Wein Town Landfill by an AMEU public health student group lead by Carlton Kruah, was referenced by Dr. Nyan. The research findings showed that the landfill has polluted the air, water, and soil in the nearby communities.
On the clinical aspect of sanitation, Dr. Nyan, the German-trained medical doctor, emphasized public health, demonstrated fecal-oral transmission of certain diseases like cholera, schistosomiasis from contaminated water. He also warned against the burning of garbage as this could lead to air pollution with dioxin that causes cancer.
Dr. Nyan said that, “lack of strong and enforceable national policies, population expansion or growth, and high population density are some key factors that constrain proper sanitation.”
Chairman of the AMEU Public Health Department, Dr. Abdul Bah, presented on the social determinants of health, while Mr. Forkpah Pewee, Chairman of the UL Public Health Department presented on the global outlook to public health as it relates to health and sanitation.
At the close of Dr. Nyan’s lecture, the Workshop then proposed some major strategies for policy makers towards achieving success in sanitation. Among others,
- The need for strong government policy and positive attitude towards sanitation;
- Vision of the national political leadership towards health and sanitation;
- Establishing clear institutional responsibility;
- Appropriating specific budget lines support for sanitation;
- full involvement of the health sector in sanitation (not city corporation alone);
- Appointing City leadership with city-planning, environmental, and sanitation technical background
- Enforcing the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978 which emphasized the importance of primary health care and included provision “an adequate supply of safe water and basic sanitation”
The globally renowned inventor, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, arrived in Liberia from East Africa for another round of volunteer-services in clinical medicine and public health, and to lecture at selected universities for a semester which began this month, January 2024.
He has volunteered his services in contributing to training healthcare professionals in medicine, nursing, laboratory science, and public health since 2005.
Dougbeh Nyan is globally acclaimed for inventing the Rapid Multiplex Isothermal Real-Time Amplification Test (the NYAN-TEST) that detects and simultaneously differentiates 3 to 7 infections in less than an hour and has been granted three US Patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.