Ama Ampofo

Ama Ampofo

Brief Profile

I am a PhD candidate and research assistant at the University of Newcastle who has worked as a registered nurse in Ghana for over 7 years. I am a recipient of the prestigious 2022 Health and Behaviour International Collaborative Award.

I completed my Master's and Bachelor's degree in nursing from King's College London and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, respectively. I founded Cervix for Life Foundation in Ghana to educate the Ghanaian population about cervical cancer and screen age eligible women for cervical cancer.

As an early career researcher, I have published 14 peer-reviewed journal articles (all within the last 5 years), and have other publications under peer review in reputable journals.

I have played an active role in writing and coordinating applications for research funds and have been successful in being awarded six internal and external competitive grants worth over $40,000 including the University of Newcastle College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing Strategic Research Pilot Grant, HMRI Equity in Health and Wellbeing Research seed grant, the Australian Prevention Centre and Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour. I have received four awards as part of my PhD training one of which include collaborating with an international mentor from India. 
 

Research interests 

  • Improving cervical cancer prevention among young people and adult women in Ghana
  • Understanding behaviors on testicular cancer prevention among students in Nigeria
  • Developing digital health interventions
  • Chronic diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and heart failure.
  • Improving sexual health among students
  • Improving attitudes towards people with epilepsy
  • Improving health service delivery in Africa

 

Why did you get into research?

I was struck by the increasing burden of cervical cancer in Africa and Ghana, and the low uptake of screening and vaccination during our visits to the schools and religious institutions for cervical cancer screening as registered nurse. I was even more saddened by the fact that cervical cancer is highly preventable, which led me to ask a simple question "why should our women die of such a preventable disease"?

I got into research to understand health behaviors and develop culturally tailored health interventions for young people and adults that be translated into routine practice.

 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My vision is that through my research nearly all female students in Ghana will understand cervical cancer prevention, reduce their exposure to cervical cancer risk factors and improve their attitudes towards HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening.

I also hope that my research will inform policy and practice concerning the implementation of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening programs in Ghana.

 

Future Focus

I hope to continue working with young people, expanding my target population to focus on males in schools and women in the community towards cervical cancer prevention. 

 

Specialised/Technical Skills

Knowledge and experience in:

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Survey development
  • Design and implementation of school-based intervention and cross-sectional studies
  • Collection and evaluation of large datasets across various settings

 

Affiliations

  • HMRI Equity in Health and Wellbeing Research
  • Health Behavior Research Collaborative
  • International Behavioural Trials Network
  • Australasian Society of Behavioural Health and Medicine
  • NSW Regional Cancer Research Network 
  • African Postgraduate Students’ Association, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana