The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have been tasked to urgently halt the mushrooming of nursing schools without the right calibre of staff.
Dr. Lydia Aziato, a Senior lecturer at the Department of Adult Health at the University of Ghana School of Nursing, said this had become necessary because inexperienced tutors in those schools trained students inadequately.
She was speaking at the launch of this year’s International Nurses Day (IND) celebration in Accra yesterday, which was on the theme: “Nurses and Midwives, a force for change: improving health systems resilience through safe staffing”.
The celebration was launched for the Minister for Health, Mr. Alexander Segbefia by the Director of Nursing Services, Mr. George Kumi kyeremeh.
Dr Aziato suggested that government and private nursing training schools make concerted efforts to regulate their intake of students.
“The very high student and midwifery student numbers do not enhance skill development and if nothing is done to curb the situation, our most desired safe practice of nurses and midwives could be a mirage,” Dr.Aziato said.
She encouraged government to take a second look at the current policy on nurse employment, as the current unemployment and non-payment of nurses would frustrate professional nurses and dwindle the drive to keep nurses with great potentials.
The Minister for Health, Mr. Alexander Segbefia in a speech read for him, lauded the nurses and midwives for their tireless effort at saving human lives despite the challenges that confronts them in their profession
“Government appreciates the valuable contribution of every individual nurse and midwife and will work across all barriers to further motivate you to continue to give of your best,” he said.
The president of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Kwaku Asante – Krobea observed that the standards of nursing kept falling over the years due to the multiplicity of shortfalls in nursing care.
“I share the opinion that nurses are to be blamed more for the gloomy picture of gross disease burden arising from chronic ailing, rising tool of malaria and the prevalence of maternal and infant morbidity in our communities,” he said.
Mr Asante – Krobea urged government to retain the allowances of trainee nurses and midwives.
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, to mark Florence Nightingale’s birth.
The International Council of Nurses commemorates this important day each year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses’ Day (IND) Kit.
Ten nurses, one from each of the 10 regions were awarded when Ghana launched its celebration yesterday.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey