An Urban Slum in Accra, Ghana
RisWIS Enumerators
Focus Group Discussions

Preliminary Data Collection in Urban Slums in Ghana and Kenya Completed.

Preliminary data collection on Resource insecurity and Well-being in Informal Settlements (RisWIS) have been completed in Ghana and Kenya through funding support from the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Notre Dame. 

News and Announcements

Dr. Godfred O. Boateng presents at Harriet Tubman Institute's Black History Month panel

On 1st February 2024, GEHLab director Dr. Godfred O. Boateng participated in a panel discussion on Black educators and Black education as part of the Harriet Tubman Institute's opening ceremony for Black History Month. Joined by Dr. Lawrence Goodridge (University of Guelph), Dr. Molade Osibodu (York University), Dr. Ola Mohammed (York University) and Dr. Solomon Boakye-Yiadom (York University), Dr. Boateng discussed the importance of Black scholarship in global health from a historical and contemporary perspective. 

Dr. Gabriel John Dusing transitions to new role

On 31st January, 2024, GEHLab bade farewell to Dr. Gabriel John Dusing, the lab's Research Associate, as he transitions to a new role at St. Michael's Hospital. Dr. Dusing's six-month tenure at the lab was immensely productive, with output including three conference presentations and papers. His poster on the relationhsip between ambient temperature and sleep quality among older adults in Ghana will be presented at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health's 2024 conference. Congratulations, Dr. Dusing!

Multilevel Multidimensional Scale for Measuring Housing insecurity has been published in Lancet Global Health. 

The first report of the RisWIS study in Ghana has been published in the Lancet Global Health. Drs. Boateng and Adams presented the final output of the scale measuring housing insecurity at the 13th Annual Global Health Conference by the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. The abstract was selected by Lancet Global Health for publication. The full paper is being considered for publication at Cities. Click the link below to read more.

Data collection for the RisWIS Study completed in Malawi in June 2022

Funded by the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, data collection for the RisWIS Study started in Malawi in Mid-April and ended in June 2022. The funding supported Survey, Focus Group Discussions, and In-depth interviews across three slums and informal settlements (Kauma, Mtandire, Chinsapo) in the capital city of Lilongwe. 

Mirianna Georges graduates from York University

Mirianna recently completed a BA in Global Health at York University and will move on to pursue a Master's in Global Health at McMaster University. Before studying at York, she graduated with a Bachelor of Humanities with a minor in Biology from Carleton University.

As a research assistant with the Global and Environmental Health Lab at the Dahdaleh Institute, Mirianna worked with Prof. Godfred Boateng to complete a project on housing insecurity and intestinal health outcomes in Kenya. Mirianna was also the 2023 recipient of the Canadian Institute of Health Research Undergraduate Student Research Award, which supported research at the Global and Environmental Health Lab.

Multilevel Multidimensional Scale for Measuring Housing insecurity has been published in Cities 

The housing insecurity scale was published this January in Cities. This new scale is a game changer in the field of human geography, public health, global health, and medicine. It will enable the quantification and assessment of the disease, psychosocial, and economic implications of housing insecurity among people living in slums and informal settlements in sub-Saharan Africa. Click here to read the article.

Drs. Boateng and Gabriel John Dusing present research at Dahdaleh weekly seminar

Drs. Boateng and Gabriel John Dusing presented their research on the effect of extreme heat on sleep quality and cognitive function among older adults in Ghana, at the Dahdaleh Institute Global Seminar series on May 15th, 2024. This research was conducted using WHO SAGE Data from 2014/2015, and found that rising temperatures in Ghana are associated with adverse sleep quality and cognitive functioning among older adults. They discussed the methods used and engaged in useful discussions on next steps for studying the impact of changing climatic conditions on vulnerable populations.

GEHLAB intern Igor Akomaye presents at CUHR 2024

On 10th May, 2024, Igor Akomaye presented a poster at York University's 2024 edition of the Conference for Undergraduate Health Research. Igor's was one of 115 presentations that took place over 24 sessions at the conference. Her research explored the relationship between food insecurity and psychosocial wellbeing in three informal settlements in Malawi. This study found a correlation between an increase in food insecurity and an increase in stress, anxiety and depression symptomatologies, with varying psychosocial outcomes across the settlements. Click here to view Igor's poster.

New GEHLab research profiled by York University Research and Innovation

Dr. Boateng's new research project, Objective Validation of Resource Insecurity Tools (OVRIT), has been highlighted by York University's Research and Innovation Office. Exemplifying strong worldwide partnerships for global health research, this project is being conducted in collaboration with the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research - Water Institute (CSIR) located in Accra, Ghana. As part of ongoing research to create rigorous tools to measure resource insecurity around the world, GEHLab's research partners will co-lead the collection of water samples in three informal settlements in Accra (Old Fadama, Ashaiman and Nima). Household air quality will also be measured. The objective of this study is to assign a score to environmental determinants of resource insecurity without further testing. Data collection will begin in Summer 2024. Click here to read more.

GEHLab director presents at the HEI 2024 conference

Dr. Boateng presented a poster at the 2024 Health Effects Institute Annual Conference in Philadelphia, on 29th April, 2024. This presentation explored the relationship between exposure to extreme temperature and cognitive function among older adults in Ghana. The findings demonstrate that high ambient temperatures negatively influence sleep difficulties and cognitive function. Click here to view the poster.

Dara Nahal wins poster award at APHA 2023

Dara Nahal won a Student Scientific Presentation Award at the American Public Health Association's 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo, held in Atlanta between November 12th and 15th, 2023. Dara presented on the effects and experiences of unequal access to clean energy in three municipalities in Colombia. Congratulations, Dara!

Dr. Boateng presents research update on Retooling Black Anxiety at CPGH 2024

On 30th April, 2024, Dr. Boateng presented a progress report on the Retooling Black Anxiety project at the Critical Social Science Perspectives in Global Health Research workshop (held at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research). In this 10-minute presentation, Dr. Boateng shared insights on the data collection process as well as critical lessons from the field. Dr. Boateng also fielded questions from the audience. Attendees provided useful insight on knowledge mobilization in policy and academia.

GEHLAB interns present research at 2024 Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference 

Mirianna Georges and Richard Wu presented GEHLab research at CUGH 2024, which took place between 7th and 10th March, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Mirianna delivered an oral presentation on the gendered differences in the relationship between housing insecurity and diarrheal infection in Kenyan informal settlements. This was in addition to a poster presentation on the association between housing insecurity and mental health in Kenyan informal settlements. Richard presented on the effects of housing end energy insecurity on psychosocial health outcomes among those living in informal settlements in Ghana. They engaged conference attendees on their research objectives and lines of further inquiry. Richard and Mirianna also had the opportunity to learn from global health experts on a variety of topics, including methodological innovation for research in humanitarian contexts, and strategies for health communication in an age of misinformation. Well done, Mirianna and Richard!

Dr. Godfred Boateng co-authors new paper on changes in quality of terrestrial and coastal environments in the Caribbean

In this paper, Boateng and co-authors examine the factors that shape perceptions of the quality of terrestrial and marine natural resource base in Belize, Suriname and the Dominican Republic. Using a cross-sectional survey and face-to-face interviews, the authors explore how various socioeconomic and demographic factors mediate people's perceptions of environmental quality, and its impact on their livelihoods. They also propose strategies for designing adaptive responses to climate change in the Caribbean. Read the paper here.

GEHLAB research partnership receives NIH funding

Dr. Godfred Boateng has been awarded a grant by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a 2-year project on household energy insecurity in Colombia. Valued at $136,899, this grant wil support the implementation of the Household energy insecurity, health and sustainable livelihoods (HEINS) project between March 2024 and February 2026. This project is co-led by Dr. Diego Iván Lucumí Cuesta at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. Data will be collected in Unguía, Medio Atrato, and Sipía municipalities in the Choco province of Colombia. The HEINS project seeks to understand how household energy insecurity uniquely impacts disease, socioeconomic and psychoosical outcomes, particularly among women, infants and child. The project will also investigate clean energy transition self-efficacy among households.

Dr. Godfred Boateng participates in York strategic engagement in Ghana

Between 8th and 21st March, 2024, Dr. Godfred Boateng visited various educational and research institutions across Ghana as part of a York University strategic engagement initiative. Along with the Deans of the Faculty of Health, and Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, as well as the Vice President of Research and Innovation, Dr. Boateng and faculty from various faculties engaged stakeholders and students on new research and institutional partnerships. 

GEHLab director appointed Canada Research Chair at York University

Dr. Godfred O. Boateng, GEHLab's director and Assistant Professor at York University's School of Global Health has been appointed Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Humanitarianism. His research agenda, which will steer GEHLAB's research priorities, include a proactive assessment of resource insecurity (with a holistic outlook on water, food, energy, and housing insecurity), and ongoing assessment of the relationship between climatic conditions and health outcomes among vulnerable groups. Congratulations, Dr. Boateng!

GEHLab hosts workshop on meta-analysis and systematic reviews at York University 

Between 20th and 23rd February, 2024, GEHLab, in collaboration with the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, hosted a workshop on meta-analysis and systematic reviews. Led by Dr. Reginald Quansah (School of Public Health, University of Ghana), participants from York University and University of Western Ontario learned the differences between systematic reviews and meta-analysis, best practices for conducting both and strategies for getting their reviews published in top-ranking journals. Congratulations to all participants!

Gashanti Young Women Initiative hosts info session on anxiety and Retooling project

On January 25, 2024, Gashanti Young Women Initative, in collaboration with Midaynta Community Services, hosted an info session on the Retooling Black Anxiety project, and anxiety in Black communities at large. Participants shared their perspectives on feelings of anxiety and depression, and also heard about the project objectives. 

Testing begins with partners at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

This February, GEHLab partners at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research trialled new IDEXX equipment for assessing indoor and outdoor water quality. The lab is preparing to collect data on choliform bacteria in water sources across informal settlements in Accra, Ghana. This data will inform new analysis on water insecurity in these settlements.