Stop training of SHS graduates to assist community health nurses – YEA told

The Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has called on the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to, as a matter of urgency halt the training of Senior High School (SHS) graduates to assist Nurses at Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound.

It said conducting physical examination and providing bedside care required special skills, which could only be provided by trained health personnel and that case Community Health Nurses (CHNs) who had gone through a regulated training by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of Ghana to provide safe and quality health services to Ghanaians.

A press statement signed by Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, the President of GRNMA,and issued in Accra, has said.

This follows report that the YEA by end of August 2022 will employ about 5,000 Senior High School (SHS) graduates to help with basic health care delivery on Community Health-Based Planning Services (CHPS) compounds across the country.

The Association said any training of SHS graduates, which did not conform to standards set out by the NMC would pose a threat to the lives of all Ghanaians, especially those in rural communities whose first point of access to health care was the CHPS Compounds.

The statement noted that work in CHPS compound was daunting, and CHNs who manned the place required some form of assistance, but certainly not from SHS graduates.

It said a recent meeting between the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, GRNMA, and the leadership of unemployed nurses and midwives, rotation nurses and midwives and Ghana Nurse-Midwife Trainee Association, confirmed that 10,727 Nurse Assistants (Clinical and Preventive) had accessed the Ministry of Health recruitment portal and were waiting to be posted to various parts of Ghana.

“We wish to emphasise that more than half of this number are Nurse Assistants (Preventive) who are also appointed as CHNs. In total, there is a backlog of over 20,000 nurses and midwives of all cadres belonging to 2019, 2020 and 2021 batches also awaiting employment,” it stated.

It described the YEA’s decision to train SHS graduates to help with services, according to the report as very disturbing and a clear displacement of Ghana’s priority to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) and Universal Health Coverage by 2030.

It urged the Ministries of Finance and Health and government to, as a matter of urgency, recruit the over 10,000 nurses and midwives who had already accessed the MOH recruitment portal and were waiting to be employed.

The statement called on all nurses and midwives waiting to be posted and those waiting for the MoH recruitment portal to be opened to remain calm as the GRNMA worked with their leaders to get the Government to do the needful.

It said the politicisation of nursing and midwifery in Ghana was getting out of hand and, therefore, called on every nurse and midwife not to commit themselves in any way to the training of any SHS graduates who had not gone through any of the standardised training as stipulated by the NMC of Ghana.

The Association asked Parliament and the public to lend a listening ear to the GRNMA on the issue of having the entry level of nursing and midwifery in Ghana as first degree and to focus on equipping nurses and midwives with specialised skills the citizens needed at all levels of the health system.

Source: GNA

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