Health professionals told to constantly upgrade skills

Professor Ohene Adjei, Chief Executive Officer of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), has reminded health professionals to constantly upgrade their skills and knowledge to keep pace with the dynamics of the health sector.

The medical profession, he noted, is one of the most rapidly changing fields and therefore the need for continuous medical education to be abreast of new trends was paramount.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of a five-day child health conference in Kumasi.

It is being organised jointly by the Department of Child Health of KATH, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) School of Medical Sciences (SMS) and the University of Utah, United States (US).

Doctors, nurses, medical assistants and other health personnel are attending the meeting to build their capacity and help to improve the quality of child health care.

Prof Ohene Adjei expressed concern about the inadequate number of pediatricians in the country, saying, this has been affecting clinical care and partly to blame for the high child mortality at the facilities.

He said medical officers in some district hospitals have become preoccupied with obstetric and surgical care, leaving the job of child care in the hands of nurses.

They tend to lose touch with the basic concerns of child health, especially during the neonatal period. This results in poor referrals, with most children, dying usually from malaria and bacteria infections within the first 24 hours on admission.

Prof Ohene Adjei said it is important to build the skills of health service providers in the sub-region in neonatal care to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Four.

Dr Alex Osei Akoto, Head of Department of Child Health, KATH, thanked the US team for the training programme, initiated a decade ago, and said this has contributed to the reduction of the mortality rate of children under the age of five year.

Participants are discussing ways of improving knowledge and skills in the diagnosis and management of heart diseases in children, common pediatric emergencies including hypertension, renal and eye emergencies, diagnosis and management of common childhood infections, nutritional and orthopedic problems.

Source: GNA

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