By Lydia Asamoah, GNA
Keta (V/R), Oct. 31, GNA - The First Lady Mrs Lordina Mahama at the weekend joined the Nursing and Midwifery Training College in Keta in the Volta Region, to mark their 10th anniversary celebration and called on the youth to imbibe a culture of disciple and patriotism.
“These two character elements would serve us very well in the course of our lives,” Mrs Mahama told the healthcare students while reminding them that Ghana needs them now more than ever, to safeguard each patient, woman, girl and child so that they could live to realise their full potential.
The 10th anniversary was on the theme: “Quality Nursing and Midwifery Education; a Prerequisite for Improved Health Care Delivery.”
The College, which is affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi was established in 2006 with 55 students but now has 715 students, offering general nursing programme and Registered Midwifery programme to its beaming students.
While commending the health professionals for their efforts at sustaining the gains of the MDGs Goal 5 (Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality) beyond 2015, Mrs Mahama, urged all to emulate Florence Nightingale who worked in worse conditions and yet she healed with compassion and kindness.
She however said government would continue to invest heavily in the training of healthcare professionals because that would reflect in improved quality health for the citizenry.
“All over the country we are witnessing an expansion, upgrade and even construction of many new facilities including the rural areas, all this with an aim of increasing equitable access to quality healthcare, which is a priority in our fast changing global world,” Mrs Mahama explained.
She said in today’s world, wealth creation was tied to knowledge and health which also provide more job opportunities for healthcare students.
“Because all these teaching hospitals, regional and institutional hospitals, Polyclinics, District Hospitals, CHPS Compounds would create more avenues for the employment of more nurses and midwives to come work at these new and expanded health facilities,”, the First Lady said.
Mrs Mahama gave the assurance that government would also continue the expansion of existing Nursing and Midwifery Training colleges even as new ones continue to be established to create more spaces for more students to be admitted into schools.
“This will ultimately raise the quality of teaching and learning in our colleges. And when more nurses and midwives are trained, it will reduce workload on staff in our health facilities thereby raising quality health delivery to a new level as planned by the government,” she said.
She noted that beyond the provision of infrastructure and retooling of the hospitals, government hope to raise the level of quality healthcare delivery to meet international standards thereby, not only serving Ghanaians, but also making Ghana a hub for quality medical care in West Africa., which could be a significant source of foreign exchange to boost the economy.
Mrs Mahama however said despite the gains, she felt sad when women die through childbirth, a divine ordained duty due to preventable causes like bleeding, infection, difficult labour, anaemia, delay in reaching the health centre, and pregnancy induced hypertension that are surmountable problems.
She therefore advised that people, especially pregnant women, should be encouraged to patronise services available at the CHPS compound, clinics, polyclinics and hospital for regular screening to save their lives.
Mr Alex Segbefia, Minister of Health, commended the College for its achievements over the years and contributing to the provision of essential health care needs of the people.
He also thanked the First Lady “for being to any nook and cranny of the nation to donate essential medical supplies and equipment to various hospitals and clinics.
Mr Segbefia assured of government continuous support to the health sector.
He thanked the Korean Government for helping to put up a two -storey building lecture hall for the Keta College.
Mrs Charity Kartey, Principal of the Nursing and Midwifery Training College, Keta said the school was among the first nine Health Assistants Clinical Training Schools established by the Ministry of Health.
It was founded out of the dire need of health personnel to assist with health care delivery at the various health institutions due to the acute shortage of professionals as a result of the brain drain.
She said academic performance of students since the beginning of the Licensing Examination in November 2008 has been impressive as the school has placed either the first position or among the first five nationally in Nurse Assistant Clinical Exams.
Mrs Kartey however said the biggest challenge of the School was the lack of residential accommodation for staff and students because the hostel projects that commenced at the new site since 2007 was yet to be completed.
She said another challenge was inadequate tutorial and support staff and lack of vehicles for the school.
She therefore appealed to government to assist the College and help well-resource the School’s library, and computer and skills laboratories.
Government however promised to provide the College with a pickup vehicle in a week’s time for its administrative work and donated GH₵ 5,000.00 towards the anniversary celebration.