UDS Department of Forensic Sciences Host First Forensic Science Summit

Author: Yahaya Sumara Sulley

Department of Forensic Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale – Ghana

The University for Development Studies (UDS) Department of Forensic Science in collaboration with the Forensic Investigation for National Development Ghana (FINDGh) hosted the first Forensic Science Summit in the Northern territory of Ghana at the Adani Andan Academic Chamber of the UDS Central administration Tamale on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022. The summit was born out of the shared interest of both parties to propagate the hope that forensic science carries and to educate people about proper justice delivery.

This memorable occasion was meant for personnel from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Ambulance Service and the Security Sevice of the University for Development Studies. The summit included outreach to selected Senior High Schools in the Tamale Metropolis. These preparations were all put in place by both parties towards the theme of the summit “Building a formidable Security Front where Stakeholders Cooperate to ensure Efficient Delivery of Justice”.

The event was chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Biosciences, Professor Elliot Haruna Alhassan who in his capacity introduced the Vice-Chancellor for UDS Prof. Gabriel Ayum Teye before he gave his speech. In his speech, he emphasized the need for sophisticated approaches toward crime-solving in Ghana to clamp down on criminal networks hindering the development of the nation. Prof. Teye emphasized the need for the country to pay attention to the global expansion of digitization and cautioned people to be aware of 21st-century crimes that are committed with low to no cost.

The VC emphasized the need for forensic science education in all Universities in Ghana as a matter of national policy action based on research gaps that have been identified over the years. We cannot continue to solve crimes with 19th and 20th-century approaches hence the final words of The Vice-Chancellor for UDS; “This is the time! We need to shine some light on the world of crime and social justice in Ghana. The perpetrators of crime must be aware that they are being watched, they can be found and effective justice will be delivered based on the rigorousness of the laws of the state in the future”.

The state of forensic science was put into summary by Dr. Lydia Quansah Head of Department for the Department of Forensic Sciences. She briefed the audience about the need for prioritizing forensics science as a discipline in Ghana to foster sustainable development. Dr. Quansah hinted at key research works that have been conducted recently concerning gaps in forensic science practice and education. She also reiterated policy-related issues affecting forensic science in Ghana which included governance, legislature, accreditation and quality assurance.

Other important sessions of the summit included the call for public awareness about nuclear emergencies and the need for nuclear forensics through a lecture by Dr. Christiana Odumah Hood from the Department of Environmental Science, University of Cape Coast UCC. Mr. Saeed Ciessey the CEO of FINDGh and Mr. Kwasi Wiafe Ampofo Kwapong a resource person from the Ghana Fire Service National Headquarters led the audience through a mock crime scene investigation demonstration which was appreciated by the audience at the event.

To include the civilian’s role in effective justice delivery, Mr. Abu Suleman Mohammed and Abdul Rahman Haruna Sachibu both from the UDS School of Medicine and Health Science led demonstrations in emergency response and first aid. This was done to address ways of providing emergency care while avoiding crime or accident scene contamination.

The event ended with the Chairman’s closing remarks emphasizing the need for forensic support for criminal investigations. Prof. Alhassan also called on the security agencies to open up for collaborations with the UDS Forensic Science Department to fast-track the accreditation process and future training. Finally, he informed the audience about specialized programmes that are being designed for security agencies to be run by the UDS Department of Forensic Sciences in the future.

Also present at the summit were Deans, Directors, Heads of Departments, Lecturers and Students of the University for Development studies.

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