The West African Genetic Medicine Centre (WAGMC), University of Ghana welcomed the first cohort of students into its new flagship Master of Science (MSc) degree programme in January 2022. The postgraduate genetic counselling programme is the first of its kind in Ghana and in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the third such programme on the continent. The programme is accredited by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). Students who graduate from the programme will be required to complete a mandatory one-year internship under the supervision of the Ghana Psychology Council to become licensed to practice as Genetic Counsellors.
Professor Solomon Ofori-Acquah (WAGMC Centre Leader) with Dr. Judith Osae-Larbi and Dr. Dorcas Annan (WAGMC Faculty) with some WAGMC Genetic Counselling Students.
The MSc Genetic Counselling programme is a professional health degree programme. It is designed to combine critical skills-training and rigorous independent research, to prepare students for the dynamic field of genetic counselling. It explores both the theoretical and practical aspects of genetic counselling while developing skills in research, teaching, public education, critical thinking, and health leadership. The programme will equip students with current knowledge in human genomics, genetics, genetic analysis and bioinformatics, as well as the relevant communication, counselling, and psychological skills they need to succeed and adapt to advances in genomic medicine. WAGMC worked with several collaborators and partner institutions in South Africa, USA and UK to develop the maiden genetics educational programme. These partnerships offer students exciting internship opportunities across the genomic medicine spectrum all over the world.
In her comments to the WAGMC Communications Team, Dr. Judith Osae-Larbi, Co-Director of the MSc programme, said the faculty feel very proud as a team, and could not have made the University of Ghana any prouder with such a feat. She expects the first cohort of students (3 females and 4 males) to all graduate, complete their internship and become registered to offer for the first time genetic counselling services within the health sector in Ghana.