Robert Bella Kuganab-lem, Ph.D.

Photo of Robert Bella Kuganab-lem
  • Fellow, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre


Background and Professional Interests

I am the Developer and Director of the Master of Community Health and Development programme. The programme is based in the School of Medicine and Health Science at the University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.

I have a PhD in Health Planning and Management and have been a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine and Health Science for the past fourteen years. I am a Public Health Services Consultant to several local and international non-governmental organizations.

My University is a pro poor university and I am well motivated in advocating for equity and access to health care for poor and underserved communities. My core orientation is to train health human resource and equally advocate for quality public health services for the three underserved northern regions of Ghana in the hope of reducing health inequalities.

Research Interests

My research interests cuts across critical areas of public health. It includes financial access, rural health systems development, community engagement and empowerment, community health monitoring systems,  Maternal and Child Health, mental health care integration, capacity building of health care providers and motivation for rural service.

Why I chose to be engaged in this work

What motivates me is getting the classroom into the community. As a human resource developer I feel strongly that if we are to be relevant to our communities, then we have to decent from the ivory tower and engage our communities as we train and actively find solutions to the challenges confronting our communities. The community tool box offers this unique opportunity to work with the community in the training of health professionals who will not feel inadequate to work with communities to surmount their problems. The community tool box makes it possible for the graduate to immerse herself and “putting it all together” in the quest to have healthy people in healthy communities. The tool makes community work pleasant. It produces results that are tangible and sustainable.

Description of the work I am engaged in

I am currently the Director for the MSc/MPhil Community Health and Development Programme in the University for Development Studies Tamale. I am working to further develop the community engagement component of this programme which includes working on an African Version of the Community Tool Box curriculum. I must admit that the Community Tool Box is relevant in any context and giving it an African touch is simply putting in problems and examples that can provoke discussions for initiating community action plans and interventions.