Sir Jonah Makes Case For Medical Education

sir JonahThe Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr Sir Sam Jonah has called for the creation of enough opportunities for many more students to pursue medicine as a career in the country.

“Many students with good grades do not make it to medical school in Ghana simply because of the intake limits. These same students can leave the shores of Ghana and get into medical schools abroad” he explained.

Dr Jonah made the call at the 2nd induction ceremony of the School of Medical Sciences of the University Cape Coast, here at the weekend.

As part of the congregation, 46 students who pursued a six-year programme leading to the award of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, graduated as medical doctors at the ceremony.

Dr Jonah noted that the unavailability of enough medical schools in the country was manifesting in health available health statistics, saying, “it is not surprising that our health statistics are not impressive”.

“Cuba, with a population of 11.2 million, has 25 medical schools producing 11,000 doctors annually. No wonder their health statistics are significantly more impressive. Life expectancy in Cuba is 79 percent as compared 60 percent in Ghana,” he stated.

He, therefore, called for the involvement of the private sector in the training of medical professional for the country since the government alone could not do it.

The country, he indicated, through its investment promotion drive should market itself as a centre of excellence in medical in West Africa, and thus provide all the necessary incentives to attract private capital and participation as could be seen with the mainstream universities.

Dr Jonah further called for the strengthening of the nation’s healthcare delivery systems through research, public health and patient care, adding that, “the field of medicine is changing now more than ever.”

He also admonished the country to take full advantage of the advancement in technologies in improving medical care where remote posts could have access of the best of doctors via video link.

He urged the newly qualified doctors to keep an open mind, seize opportunities, be enthusiastic and translate their ideas into opportunities in the discharge of their duties.

The Vice Chancellor of UCC, Prof D.D. Kuupole, in an address said that the School of Medical Sciences intend to mount academic and professional programmes for the award of Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates through regular, short, and sandwich courses in ten areas.

The areas, he mentioned, included Medical Diagnostic Imaging, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy, Health Service Administration, Environmental Health Services, Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Exercise, Sports and Recreation Sciences, Pharmacy, Health Information technology and Public Health.

He indicated that the adoption of the Community-Based Experience and Service (COBES) in the curriculum of the Medical School continue to expose students to community field work and has helped them to develop research skills and innovative means to serve and support for deprived communities.

The School, Prof Kuupole explained, currently had COBES sites at Okwampa, near Bawjiase, Abura Dunkwa, Assin Foso, Twifo Praso, Saltpond and Adjobue, near Akim Oda, announcing that “a new site is to be opened at Assin Kushea in the course of the 2014/2015 academic year.”

He stated that the vision of the university was to make the School of Medical Sciences the preferred destination for medical and other health care education.

In order to increase the intake of students, he said that the University had plans to open up more clinical training sites in other parts of the country.

“It is also the intention of the University to develop more residential facilities for students and recruit more personnel to boost the staff strength,” he added.

The Minister of Education, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, in an address, noted that the objectives of the COBES programme were in line with the government’s desire to bring quality health care to the remotest parts of the country.

She reiterated the government’s commitment to support the medical school and similar institutions to achieve their highest potential.

From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Cape Coast

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