50 Sierra Leonean nurses, midwives enrol in diploma programmes in Ghana

Fifty (50) nurses and midwives from Sierra Leone were yesterday enrolled into a two-year registered diploma in nursing and midwifery programme in Ghana.

The training aimed at sharpening the skills of participants to effectively and professionally deliver healthcare services in their homeland.

It formed part of an undertaken signed between Nursing and Midwifery Council (N&MC) and Medicins San Frontieres (MSF), a leading emergency medical humanitarian organisation providing assistance in about 70 countries around the world.

Two Nursing and Midwifery Training Schools, Korle Bu and Koforidua will each sign up 25 trainees under the programme.

It is intended to improve the knowledge and skills of the nurses and midwives to apply the right skills and education to frontline nursing and midwifery staff who will provide quality healthcare to the people of Sierra Leone.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said the programme was to support efforts in rebuilding the “shattered health system” of the West African country.

According to him, the programme is expected to have an overall impact on maternal and child indices in Sierra Leone in line with achieving goal three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We are all aware that Sierra Leone has recently undergone health crisis as a result of Ebola and though declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation, it is struggling to rebuild its healthcare system.”

Mr Agyeman-Manu entreated the nurses to make optimal use of the opportunity given them and learn hard during their two-year study to help revamp the health system of Sierra Leone upon completion.

He pledged the Ministry and N&MC’s support to the students to ensure their peaceful and successful stay in the country.

The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the N&MC, Mr Felix Nyante said Ghana was chosen by the MSF due to international standards of nursing and midwifery education, training and other best practices offered.

He said trainees after undergoing the programme would sit for the Council’s licensing examinations after which they will graduate and be inducted in Sierra Leone as qualified and certified nurses and midwives.

He reminded students of the Council’s determination to ensure that the right practices were adhered to hence asked them to remain focused on their “primary aim for coming to Ghana.”

“The agreement we had is that, after the two-year programme, all 50 students will return to Sierra Leone to practise for some time and help save the lives of their people and if they so desire to come to Ghana afterwards, then they are free to do so,” he added.

The Medical Director of the MSF Unit in Brussels, Belgium, Sebastian Matthew Spencer lauded Ghana for “agreeing to come on board” to uphold quality healthcare delivery services in Sierra Leone.

“The training project is part of MSF’s strategy to develop the required level of human resource for a proposed 160-bed Paediatric and Obstetric Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone which was hard hit during the Ebola outbreak,” he explained.

By Abigail Annoh         

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