Clinical trials in Ghana: evolution and current landscape


  • George O. Adjei Centre for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
  • Abdul M. Sulley Centre for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana



Clinical trial, Disease burden, Communicable diseases, Non-communicable diseases


A review of published clinical trials from Ghana shows the earliest trials initiated in the 1970s, were mainly trials of interventions against onchocerciasis and childhood Burkitt’s lymphoma. Subsequent trials in the 1980s and 1990s were more diverse, comprising of preventive as well as therapeutic interventions against major communicable diseases of the period. In more recent times, trials of interventions against malaria have since 2000, been the most dominant and have included some of the most recently developed vaccines. There has, since the early days of clinical trial history in Ghana, been a consistent presence of trials of reproductive health interventions and surgically-related trials. There have been few trials of tuberculosis, or neonatal-related interventions, and trials against major non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health disorders have been virtually non-existent. The clinical trial evolution in Ghana has reflected global health initiatives and external funding exigencies and there is an urgent need for trials that are dynamic and directed towards addressing other significant and especially non-communicable disease causes of morbidity and mortality in Ghana.


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