Health News of Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Source: Graphic Online
The Tarkwa Midwifery School in the Tarkwa Nsuaem municipality in the Western Region is in serious distress due to inadequate infrastructure and teaching staff.
The school currently lacks accommodation for staff, classroom space, dormitory, constant water supply, security, a kitchen, a laundry base and a place to use as a library to enhance academic work.
As an interim measure, the area that is used for washing and the skills lab have both been converted into classrooms to enable the students to have a place of study.
Some of the students who spoke to the Daily Graphic said the skills lab should only be used for practicals and not used as a classroom, but due to the lack of classrooms, part of it and the passageway were now classrooms.
“If not for the efforts of the principal, to create an improvised structure to facilitate learning, we will say we have only one classroom for a school running a three-year programme,” a student said.
The school, which was established more than 50 years ago, operates in a one-storey facility, part of which has been converted into a sleeping place for the students. The upper part is used as a classroom and the ground floor as a dormitory for the student population of about 171.
When the school was established and was later converted into a midwifery school, it initially had three classrooms for the first, second and third years.
Intake of students increased without a corresponding increase in the facilities such as dormitories or hostel facilities and water supply for the smooth running of activities in the school.
As a result, the existing structures had to be improvised to accommodate the growing demand for training by prospective students.
Third-year students, who should have been out of school on clinical or attachment, were still in school, which has resulted in an increase in the population of students to more than 200 who rely on the same facility.
Security for the school
Another problem with the school currently is lack of security as the compound serves as thoroughfare for members of the general public who want a shortcut through the school to their respective destinations.
This, according to some of the students, is not safe, “because sometimes in the night, people walk through, vehicles drive through the school, tooting horns even at night or class hours while others use the school as car parks”.
To them, the school’s land or space near the old premises of the Tarkwa Government Hospital has to be demarcated to protect it from intruders.
Environment in the school
For a health institution, the general environment of the school was neat, the lawns were neatly pruned, an indication that it was a health institution.
When contacted, the Principal of the School, Mrs Ivy Ananga, said the challenges facing the school had been chronicled and forwarded to the Ministry of Health for action.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Public Relations Directorate of the Ministry of Health, Mr Tonny Goodman confirmed the conditions existing in the school and the request from the principal of the school.
“I can assure you that repositioning and equipping it to meet the training needs of the students is very important to the ministry and the process has begun,” he said.
The PRO said the ministry’s shopping for contractors was almost complete and that work on the expansion would begin at Tarkwa soon, “Let me assure the students that soon, work will begin.”