Ghana requires at least 4,000 critical care and 3,000 peri-operative nurses to meet holistic healthcare demand in the country.
Currently, of an estimated 700 trained critical care nurses, about 400 are in active practice while the country boasts only 530 peri-operative nurses, serving in various health facilities.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought ‘pressure’ on health staff, immediate past president of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Dr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, has urged government to as a matter of urgency invest in the specialty to save more lives needing emergency care in the country.
“As we own this as an obligation and see this as a serious business we will dare to execute, we challenge the government to provide the resources for the training of these professionals,” he pleaded, while addressing a joint graduation ceremony in Accra, last Thursday.
A total of 492 students from four health institutions including the Ophthalmic Nursing School (Korle Bu), School of Peri-Operative and Critical Care Nursing (Korle Bu), Public Health Nurses School (Korle Bu) and the School of Anaesthesia and Critical Care (Ridge), graduated.
Speaking on the theme; “COVID-19: The Role of the Specialised Nurse,” Dr. Asante-Krobea who is also Principal of the School of Peri-Operative and Critical Care Nursing (Korle Bu) said the COVID-19 pandemic has affirmed the need to scale up training of nurses into the field.
He stressed that global health coverage and other health goals may not be achieved if nurses and midwives who make up 75 per cent of the health sector workforce are not empowered.
“It is the responsibility of governments to strengthen and invest in specialised nursing education for the critical workforce to have a triple impact of promoting health, advancing gender equality and strengthening local economies.”
“A long-term goal is to raise the profile of nursing and midwifery globally and any such positive action from government will engender public confidence in the slowly dying health system,” he appealed.
Chief Programme Officer at the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr BaffourAwuah, delivering a speech on behalf of the sector Minister acknowledged the important role specialised nurses’ play in the healthcare industry.
He expressed government willingness to continue investing in human resource training, health infrastructure and technology to improve quality of care.
The Minister however, implored members of the public to be mindful of their health seeking behaviours particularly in the area of non-communicable diseases to reduce the burden in the country.
“We must continue to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols as well, all in a combined effort to control the pandemic,” he advised.
Deserving students who excelled in their respective learning fields received special awards at the event.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH