July 22, 2019, by sleatherland

Graduation blog – Dr Yakubu Salifu

This month we’re celebrating the achievements of our new School of Health Sciences graduates! In our latest blog post , Dr Yakubu Salifu shares an insight into his research…

Dr Yakubu Salifu is Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Palliative Care) and his PhD explored the Home-Based Supportive and Palliative Care for Men Living with Advanced Prostate cancer in Ghana. His PhD was supervised by Professor Kathryn Almack and Dr Glenys Caswell.

‘This is a novel study providing a substantial contribution to new knowledge. Being a qualitative study, with mixed data sources, one of its greatest strengths is the range of issues uncovered that impact on the experiences of these men and their caregivers and the contextual nature of these. These issues range from the interpersonal dynamics between these men and their caregivers to structural concerns relating to caregiving in a resource-limited context. A further area of strength in my study is the work on stigma and especially linking this to aspects of masculinity’ Dr Salifu explained.

According to him, Prostate cancer affects 1 in 8 men globally, but that incidence affects one out of every four black African. He further stated that due to issues such as stigma, lack of resources for early diagnosis and treatment, lack of awareness, financial challenges, socio-cultural beliefs, and over-reliance on traditional medicine contribute to the late diagnosis and or treatment. Prostate cancer disrupts the lives of men and their families as they transverse the prostate cancer journey, this study is pioneering in looking at masculinity and stigma together in men with prostate cancer. There is a need for social and health policies and to provide extended professional palliative care closer to the patients at home. Increasing awareness about prostate cancer is critical, and the provision of ‘how to do’ health education packs to support families.

Dr Salifu has over ten years of clinical experience as both a Registered General Nurse and a qualified teacher (Diploma in Education) in Ghana. He holds MPhil, BSc, and Diploma in Nursing as well as a certificate Qualitative Research from the University of Alberta, Canada where he undertook an exchange programme during his MPhil. When asked, he said, “I have always looked for opportunity to advance my professional and academic career, because that, to me, is the surest way to make an impact in my life and that of others-family, friends, patients, and my students- and I think I am just doing that”. I am the Executive Director of Prostate cancer Support Heritage (ProCash Ghana), a Non-Governmental Organisation that aims to create awareness and support men living with support cancer and their families.

Ghanaians have the professional, legal, and moral duty to ensure that men with prostate cancer and their caregivers live even improved and more dignified life and to be also adequately supported. And that is what I am, and will be committed to, moving forward.

Dr Salifu is a member of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), and Student Information Officer of RCN, European Association of Urology (EAU), European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), International Palliative Care Family Carer Research Collaboration (IPCFRC), Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) among others. He has won a number of awards for his presentations and this includes being selected as one of the top three in the category of Medical Sociology at the 16th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care Berlin, Germany 23-25th May 2019.

Responding to Salifu’s award in Berlin, Professor Almack wrote “Congrats Dr Salifu! Graduates July. What a celebration that will be for someone who has faced tough challenges through his PhD years, worked incredibly hard on his research, already using his expertise in his home country Ghana AND awarded a number of accolades such as this one!”

Dr Caswell also wrote congratulating him after his PhD: Congratulations! You have worked so hard, and this is the outcome. Well done! It has been a huge pleasure supervising your work.

He eulogises his supervisors by saying, “my supervisors are amazing and supportive. If given a chance to choose another supervisor, I will not hesitate to choose them again”.

Posted in GraduationPhD students