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Nurses, midwives schooled on human rights of patients

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A Human rights course designed by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for health workers was on Thursday inaugurated at the Nurses and Midwives Training College (NMTC) in Cape Coast.

It aims at enlightening student nurses and midwives on patients’ rights as well as their own rights and responsibilities during their practice.

The 20-week course also seeks to instil a deeper sense of human rights consciousness in workers of the health sector to enable them to discharge their duties professionally and avoid trampling on the rights of patients.

Mr. Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner for public education and anti-corruption who inaugurated the course noted that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was fraught with pertinent human rights abuses by impatient nurses who were apathetic towards the health care needs of patients.

He further identified gross indiscipline, verbal abuse, discrimination and extortion by some nurses as other issues that give cause for concern, adding that these issues were very pertinent and  must be nipped in the bud, hence CHRAJ’s decision to take that initiative to address those anomalies in the health sector.

He said the course was initiated about six years ago by Mr. Ebenezer Aggrey, a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and a former Principal Investigator of the Central Region Office of CHRAJ, for the nurses and midwives to help protect and uphold the principles of human rights of patients, particularly, vulnerable patients like the disabled, children, women and HIV/AIDS patients among others.

Mr. Quayson said the impact made after the pilot course at the Ankaful Psychiatric Nurses Training School and NMTC necessitated its replication in the Brong Ahafo, Western and Eastern Regions of the country and was of the hope that it would help to improve the image of the health sector which he described as “an indispensable one”.

He said the programme would be extended to other professional institutions soon.

Mr. Theophilus Tuwor, the Principal Investigator of CHRAJ in Cape Coast, said the students will among others be educated on the Rights and Responsibilities of employees, the Concept of Human Rights and Abuses and Violations of the vulnerable in the society.

The vice principal of NMTC, Mrs. Peace Sena Hontou Semordzi who presided, advised nurses to take the course seriously and to let the lessons learnt reflect in the discharge of their duties.

She described as “disheartening” the allegations of abuses labelled against the health sector, saying they had dented the sector’s image and reputation.

She urged the students to help erase the bad publicity and make health facilities friendly.

Source: GNA

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