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General News of Saturday, 25 November 2017

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Hygiene Students to go on demo Nov, 28

The National Association of Hygiene Students has threatened to embark on a protest on Tuesday, 28 November, 2017 following government’s refusal to restore their training allowance.

They accused the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government of sidelining them, after it restored the allowances of nurses, midwives and allied health trainees, but failed to include them as promised in the 2016 electioneering campaign.

In a statement, the Association said:”We have made a comprehensive follow up to all the ministries as well as the presidency for two weeks now but yielded no result.

Therefore we realised that we were taken for granted and as such hesitated to respond to our petition. So we have decided to embark on a peaceful demonstration on 28th November, 2017 to persuade the ministries to address our issue.”

It alleged that the presidency deliberately removed their names from the list of students to enjoy the restoration of allowance, hence their decision to hit the streets.

Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT FOR PRESS RELEASE BY NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HYGIENE STUDENTS PERTAINING TO THE NON-PAYMENT OF STUDENTS ALLOWANCE ON 24TH NOVEMBER 2017.

School of hygiene was the first health training institution established in Ghana in the year 1925. It was instituted in Accra at Adjabeng awarding Diploma and later extended to Ho and Tamale to award certificate. The school trains environmental health officers initially known as ‘Sanitary inspector or Tankas’ to enforce sanitary laws mainly. The work of environmental health professionals is to identify hazards and nuisances in the environment which are dangerous and injurious to public health and devise for the abatement of those factors to prevent, prolong life and promote the health of the public.

Environmental health officers immensely contribute to the health delivery service in this country as well as the whole world and as such are inextricably involved in solving sanitation issues.

Students of the school of hygiene (Accra, Ho and Tamale) used to take allowance in the cause of their training until the time the allowance was scrubbed off by the past government under former president John Dramani Mahama. We were overwhelmed with joy when the current government announced the restoration of the health trainee’s allowance during their campaign and instituted it after assuming power.

On 1st August, 2017, the ministry of health had stakeholder’s conference which was facilitated by the Dept. minister of health, Hon. Tina Mensah to deliberate on the policies and procedures for disbursing the allowance for which the student leadership including principals from the three schools of hygiene and other health training institutions were engaged. As part of the procedures, our names were computed and submitted including particulars such as valid bank account, E-switched card and National health insurance to the ministry of health for the disbursement of the money.

After going through the procedures for the exercise, we were patiently waiting with hope to receive the allowance and in fact, still dancing to the tune of joy when to our dismay, all our sister schools (nurse, midwives and other Allied health students) received their allowance for two months now and even some have received for the third month at the time of preparing this statement. The delay of the allowance engulfed us with frustration and this prompted our principals and tutors to involve themselves to find out the cause of the delay. Delegates of tutors as well as the student leadership from all the three schools of hygiene (Ho, Accra and Tamale) had several engagement with the ministries (ministry of sanitation and water resource, and ministry of health) to rectify the situation but it yielded no result. We were later reliably informed that there was a directive from the presidency to evict us from the exercise due to unknown reason.

The students were devastated and agitated upon receiving the disappointing news. Our mind is always distorted when we remind ourselves the promises made to us by the current president when we hosted him during His campaign at Accra School of Hygiene. In view of that, the student leaders from the three schools (Ho, Accra and Tamale) petitioned the two ministries (ministry of sanitation and water resources, and ministry of health) as well as the presidency and ministry of finance on 8th November, 2017 to rectify the situation at hand. We have made a comprehensive follow up to all the ministries as well as the presidency for two weeks now but yielded no result. Therefore we realised that we were taken for granted and as such hesitated to respond to our petition. So we have decided to embark on a peaceful demonstration on 28th November, 2017 to persuade the ministries to address our issue. We will then proceed to sit down strike if they fail to resolve the issue to our satisfaction.

We by this statement call on all stakeholders as well as the media to assist us to resolve this issue.