The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alexander K.K. Abban, on Thursday, appealed to nurses to accept posting to the rural areas to enable the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
According to him, their unwillingness to accept postings to such areas deprived Ghanaians living there from accessing quality healthcare.
Mr Abban was speaking at the second batch graduation ceremony of the Ophthalmic Nursing and Peri-Operative and Critical Care Nursing School in Accra.
Held on the theme, “Promoting Specialist Nursing Education in Ghana”, he charged the nursing graduates to apply their skilled services and expertise to help people in rural communities.
Mr Abban advised them to stay and work in the country to provide healthcare to individuals saying, “The people in the village’s taxes played a part in making you who you are.”
Dr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, Principal of Peri-Operative and Critical Care appealed to government to support and empower nurses and midwives who made up 75 per cent of the health sector professional workforce globally to achieve global health coverage.
He indicated that, it was the responsibility of government to strengthen and invest in nursing and midwifery for the critical workforce to have an impact of promoting health advancing gender equality and strengthening the local economies.
“A long-term goal is to raise the profile of nursing and midwifery globally, make it central to health policy and decision making to ensure that nurses and midwives can use their skills educate and training to their full capacity,” he added.
The principal noted that, the country required not less than 6,000 critical care nurses and 4,000 per-operative nurses to meet holistic care demand.
In relation to this, Dr Asante-Krobea appealed to the Ministry of Health to expand existing infrastructural edifice to procure more classrooms including skill laboratories, electronic libraries, staff offices and accommodation.
“Vehicular transport in the form of buses and pick-ups for students’ academic field trips and off-campus clinical work as well as supervision of students by academic staff,”he said.
Mrs Stella Antwi Boasiako, the principal of Ophthalmic Nursing School said, the development of new techniques and in the diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions have made it necessary to have more knowledgeable professionals in the eye health disciple.
According to her, having knowledgeable ophthalmic nurses who played crucial role in ophthalmology as frontliners in assessing, diagnosing and management of eye conditions was one way to address the issue.
Highlighting some challenges of the school, Mrs Boasiako said hostel accommodation was a great challenge saying “students are sent to nine centres across the country, and most of these centres are all charging the school for both accommodation and teaching.”
“A bus to send students to practical centres is also a big challenge to the school, there is an old bus given by the Ministry of Health in 2003 which is very old, the school has written to the ministry and state transport has also come to assess the condition,” she added.
In all, 271 students graduated from the Ophthalmic and Peri-Operative and Critical Care Nursing School.
Out of the number, 90 students graduated with Bachelor of Science (BSc) Nursing in Critical Care and 101 graduates with BSc Nursing in Peri-Operative, while, 80 students graduated with BSc Ophthalmic Nursing.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH AND KIMBERLY FREMPONG