Professional health training is joint responsibility – Minister
Dr John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, at the weekend said professional formation of health trainees, including nurses and midwives, should be a priority to all.
Dr Awoonor said the sinking image of the profession and the future of the health of the population should be a joint responsibility and as such should be a concern to every Ghanaian.
“We have a collective responsibility to imbibe in them people centeredness, professionalism, team spirit, innovativeness, discipline and integrity,” he said.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Lucio Dery, Deputy Director in charge of administration, when five health training institutions jointly matriculated 649 student trainees to study in five nurses and midwives training schools in the Upper East Region.
Out of the number, 156 would pursue their training at the Bolgatanga Nurses Training School, 137 at the Midwifery Training schools while 164 would receive their training at the Community Health Nurses Training School in Navrongo.
The Zuarungu Health Assistants Training School will train 93 students and 99 at the Bawku Presbyterian Nurses Training School.
He said inorder to achieve the MDGs’ on health and quality health provision in the region, trainees could not be passed out without inculcating in them the professional standards, attitudes and core values of the profession.
Dr Awoonor-Williams said training institutions presently seemed to be turning out “economic nurses” instead of the professional Florence Nightingales of old because the profession was perceived now as a step to secure jobs by most Ghanaians.
He said trainees were the same who were employed and retained in health providing institutions as permanent staff and so health managers and practitioners shared in the blame for poor customer care and clinic practice standards of the present crop of nurses.
He reminded the trainees, families and the general public that the training was not complete without a one year mandatory orientation and for that matter the Directorate would not countenance any request for release of trainees.
Dr Awoonor-Williams noted with concern that the deterioration of discipline and increase in pregnancies and arrogance among trainees during clinical attachment as worrying despite clear policies in that direction and called on them to be humble and observe high professional standards during their formation.
Mr Felix Nyante, Acting Registrar of Nurses and Midwives Training Council, asked the matriculants to channel their grievance through their school structures and not to take matters into their hands and said by that their concerns would be addressed amicably.
He announced that the region had established an office of the council to provide services for nurses and thanked all who made the dream possible.
Alhaji Mohammed Limuna Muniru, Upper East Regional Minister, said without strict adherence to moral values, the efforts put in to change the country for the better would be in vain.
He congratulated the matriculants and urged them to be disciplined in their training in order to yield the desired results.
He also congratulated the health training institutions for the hard work in spite of all the infrastructural challenges and assured them of government’s commitment to improving infrastructure.
This would be done through the provision of modern libraries with computers, lecture halls, staff bungalows and dormitories to raise the standard of education to be in consonance with modern trends to meet current global challenges.