Philemon Amooba is a lecturer at the Department of Nursing. I first qualified as a State Registered Nurse (SRN) in 2001 before attaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2007 from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana’s second-largest university. I started my career as a clinical nurse at the Bolgatanga regional hospital in the Upper East Region from 2001 to 2003. After my first degree, I was recruited as a nursing tutor at the Health Assistants' (Clinical) Training School, Bolgatanga, now Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Zuarungu from 2007 and 2008. Later, I worked as a research nurse at the Kintampo Health Research Centre from 2008 to 2010 before pursuing MSc in Advanced Nursing at the University of Nottingham (UoN), United Kingdom (UK), with the support of a UoN ‘Developing Solutions’ scholarship and a scholarship from KNUST. It was at Nottingham that I identified my research interest in stroke under the guidance of Dr. Linda East, and since then I have never ceased wanting to continue research in the field of stroke care.
My master's training enabled me to gain experience in stroke unit care in the UK. This supported me to design a treatment guideline based upon UK NICE guidelines for acute stroke care, to be implemented in our hospital back in Ghana (Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)) in Kumasi. With this experience, I was part of a team that influenced the opening of an eight-bed stroke unit in KATH. I helped start the operations of this unit by training nurses and other healthcare professionals using the treatment guideline. I also took up a part-time clinical role at the stroke unit while also working as a lecturer with the Department of Nursing at KNUST. I taught and supervised nursing and midwifery students’ project work in stroke, both in the clinical area and in the classroom.
Stroke is a common health problem in Ghana, accounting for numerous deaths and disabilities. However, stroke care services in the country are woefully inadequate to meet the demands of the ever-increasing number of stroke survivors. Stroke survivors and their family caregivers are discharged home ill-prepared to handle and cope with stroke complications. One of the problems I identified during my interactions was inadequate knowledge about stroke, triggering anxiety and depression among stroke survivors and their family caregivers. Thus, I wanted to know if an educational intervention could help improve the knowledge of stroke in both stroke survivors and their family caregivers. In the UK and other western countries, it is known that providing stroke information to stroke survivors and their families has helped improved stroke knowledge, reduced anxiety, and depression but we do not know if this applies in Ghana and in other developing countries. In 2016 I successfully applied for a Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake a PhD at Nottingham University
As part of my PhD research, I have developed a post-stroke education booklet with evidence amassed from a systematic review and with inputs from stroke experts, my academic supervisors, healthcare professionals, post-graduate students, stroke survivors, and their family caregivers in Ghana.