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Ghanaian Irene Agyepong appointed as holder of the Prince Claus Chair

On the recommendation of the Curatorium of the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity, the Board of Utrecht University has appointed Dr Irene Agyepong as holder of the Prince Claus Chair. She will hold the chair for two years until the end of August 2010. Dr Agyepong will conduct research into health care in Africa. The Prince Claus Chair is an academic chair in the area of international development held on a rotating basis and established by Utrecht University and the Institute of Social Studies. Professor Agyepong will give her inaugural lecture on 28 May 2009 in the Academiegebouw (University Hall) in Utrecht.

Agyepong believes it is important to invest in research into public health and in the development of health policy at the same time. “Whenever a critical political decision has to be made, there is no time to first set up a research programme and then wait for the results. The great advantage of a good research centre in Africa is that it supports the local health system, studies trends and provides answers to tomorrow’s political questions”, says Agyepong. “Strengthening of the health care systems in Africa must be an integral part of the current focus on poverty-related illnesses, such as AIDS, malaria en tuberculosis.”

Irene Agyepong
The Ghanaian Irene Agyepong (1960) is a public health expert. She is currently Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service. She is also a member of the NWO/NACCAP Programme Committee, which combines scientific research with investment in Africa to support the fight against diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.