Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene and Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has urged the government to do more to upgrade the infrastructure and facilities of the health training institutions to expand enrolment and achieve quality.
He said he found it both disheartening and shameful the situation where the university, this year, had to turn down over 60 per cent of qualified applicants who gained admission to programmes of study at its College of Health Sciences.
This, he said, gave the cause for concern considering the fact that the country had signed up to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which, among other things, sought to provide health for all by the year 2020.
The Asantehene was addressing the Founders’ Day Special Congregation of the KNUST in Kumasi on Friday.
In all, 1,253 students from the School of Graduate Studies and Institute of Distance Learning graduated, 13 of them were awarded Doctorate degrees by the university.
The day is commemorated in November every year to honour the memory of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and the late Asantehene, Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, for their singular contribution to the institution.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the university was making plans to build a 70-bed Medical Centre and that acting together with the Ministry of Health, they had secured funding for the project which is awaiting cabinet and parliamentary approval.
He appealed to the government to act quickly to enable them to access the funds.
The centre, on completion, would serve as a tertiary referral facility and teaching hospital for the university’s medical, dental and other health professional schools and faculties.
The Asantehene said city campuses of the KNUST were to be established in Kumasi and Accra to give many people access to science and technology education.
Professor William Otoo Ellis, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, said they would continue to liaise with the appropriate bodies to come out with demand-driven programmes to strengthen industry.