Over 316 medical and health-related books traveling from Louisiana to Ghana will help students in their studies and strengthen ties between LSU Shreveport and University Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ghana.
The Memorandum of Understanding between LSUS and UHAS, Ghana was signed Feb. 1, 2015, to help improve the knowledge and skills of citizens from both the U.S. and Ghana, enhance training programs, and expand other educational and economic-related programs in any fields of learning provided by LSUS and UHAS.
“The students in Ghana don’t have the luxury we have here where our students can get new books easily,” said Dr. Emmanuel Clottey, assistant professor of public health at LSUS. “Also, their libraries are not stocked with books like the way our libraries are. The cost of buying books both for the students and the library is high. So the books are very helpful to them.”
The books were donated by faculty and staff at LSU Shreveport and LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport. The university in Ghana received the books in late July and appreciate the kind gesture from LSUS.
“I donated some of my own books,” Dr. Clottey said. “I am looking at creating a system where I will collect books every semester. Right now I have boxes of books in my office and at my house that are waiting for the next shipment. We are going to send the six boxes and counting, at the end of the semester. Hopefully every year we can ship books to them.”
Dr. Clottey said he and other faculty and staff members are working on an exchange program outlined in the MOU between LSUS and UHAS, Ghana because it offers a captivating learning experience for the students.
“Part of the MOU is to promote educational and cultural exchange programs with them,” Dr. Clottey said. “So we’ll send faculty and students to Ghana where they will teach topics on public health, science, and exercise science, conduct research, and provide services, and the students can take classes over there. For example, students can go to Ghana for an internship or those in the doctorate program can do research for their dissertation where they can collect data from the country. Students from Ghana will also be able to come to this university, which is why I’m excited about the J-1 Visa status that we are getting for immigration because it means that we can bring students here and they can stay for a semester or a year. Once students go on study abroad programs, they come back home energized and have a lot of stories to tell and you can see that they have really learned a lot. The shipment of the books is just the beginning. There are more things to come.”
With contacts in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria, and other countries, Dr. Clottey hopes to see relationships established with additional African universities to promote more opportunities for cultural and educational learning experiences for students at LSUS and international universities.
“I think providing the opportunity for students to travel to other countries is great because they are able to learn personally from the culture,” Dr. Clottey said. “This is why I have worked hard to gain the MOU between LSUS and UHAS in Ghana, so that our students can learn from a developing country and think about how they work, live, and survive. People in developing countries have difficulty obtaining electricity or water, so it forces students out of their comfort zones and helps them to think critically about how a different culture thrives.”