Child Development Student Spotlight: Dr. Nana Esi Gaisie

Final project 2015
Students at the final project presentations

Child Development MA graduate Dr. Nana Esi Gaisie received an outstanding award for her final project this June. Dr. Nana Esi Gaisie presented a project which details a support system for parents of special needs children, which she hopes to build in Ghana. In order to understand how this project started, it is important to take a look back at her story.

Dr. Nana has been active in the medical community in her home country of Ghana since she was 18 years old. Her journey in the field began when she worked for a nonprofit for children with special needs, an experience which inspired her to go to medical school. Upon receiving her certification as a doctor, she began practicing medicine in government service and has been doing so now for 7 years. During this time she continued to work with special needs patients, and gradually realized that she wanted more psycho-social background to fully delve into her work. This realization is what led Nana to the University of Haifa to pursue the Child Development master’s program.

Dr. Nana’s project was based on her desire to pioneer innovation for parents of special needs children. She explained that the medical field in Ghana lacked support for parent’s of special needs children. Based on her knowledge and experience, children’s parental attachment is essential for optimal development into adulthood, and parents must be placed in a position to provide sensitive care to their kids in order for them to succeed. Without working directly with the parents, she felt that she was missing a key component of care for special needs kids.

“Building New Dreams Ghana” is based on a research project in the US and is adapted specifically for the medical field in Ghana. Dr. Nana’s project (see below) details an outline that she is working to initiate. As of now she has met with government officials and is the process of making a video for the roll-out of the program in Ghana.

We congratulate Dr. Nana Esi Gaisie on her award and wish her the best as she makes this project a reality!

Dr. Nana Esi Gaisie project

For more information on the Child Development MA program please visit our website, or feel free to reach out to us at


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