Professor (Mrs.) Veronica Millicent Dzomeku, an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, has received a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for a multisite project as part of the Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER). The grant will be used to carry out her initiative, “Community and Hospital-based Obstetrics, WhatsApp Triage, Referral, and Transfer (WAT-RT) System,” which is named “Community and Hospital-based Obstetrics, WhatsApp Triage, Referral, and Transfer (WAT-RT) System.”.
The objective of the project is to enhance continuity and access to quality maternal care in rural communities in Ghana. As part of the project, a respectful maternity care module for midwives has been developed and pilot-tested at some selected hospitals in Kumasi, Ghana. The project further seeks to examine the effect of the respectful maternity care modules in changing midwives’ attitudes, behaviours’, and clinical practice as well as the perception of recipients of midwifery care in Ghana.
Through a “WhatsApp Triage, Referral and Transfer” (WAT-RT) System of communication, maternity care providers will be connected to discuss perinatal issues and facilitate prompt referral to the next level of care when deemed appropriate. Additionally, the project will institute obstetric triage systems at referral hospitals to decrease maternity care delays at those facilities. It is also expected to foster partnership with Liberia and the United States of America in healthcare research.
Professor (Mrs.) Dzomeku obtained her BSc. (Hons) and MPhil degrees from the University of Ghana between 1997 and 2005; and was adjudged the Best Student of College of Health Sciences, and the Best MPhil Thesis respectively. She acquired her PhD from the School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, South Africa in 2017.
She rose through the ranks of staff midwife at Ho Government Hospital in 1993 through to midwifery tutor at Midwifery Training School in Kumasi in 2000 and then to a lecturer in KNUST in 2010. In 2017, she was selected as one of the University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars to undertake a four-month residency in Michigan, United States of America.
In 2018, she won the Emerging Leader Award for her project “Changing the Culture of Disrespect and Abuse in Maternal Care in Kumasi-Ghana”. This grant worth 480,000 USD was awarded by National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International for a period of five (5) years from 2018 through to 2023.
Professor Dzomeku has a key interest in maternal care and her goal is to design, implement and evaluate programs relevant to improving maternal health outcomes in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. She has conducted many studies and has over 20 publications to her credit. Additionally, she is also a reviewer for several journals including Nursing and Midwifery International Journal (NUMID), Nigerian Journal of Nursing, Pre-publication reviewer, University of Michigan, and Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences.