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General News of Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Source: GNA

NMC shuts down unaccredited nursing schools

Budumburam (C/R), GNA - The Nurses and Midwives Council (NMC) on Wednesday closed down two unaccredited schools offering certificates and diploma courses in nursing at the Budumburam refugee Camp in the Central Region. When the Council members, including 10 Police officers from the Kasoa District Police arrived at the Preparatory College of Health Sciences (PRECOHS)it was revealed that a Liberian Medical Assistant, one Mr Ishmael Mcgill owned the school for seven years now. However ownership of the St. Amos Nursing Training School is unknown because the school was not in session neither was its management around to answer questions when the team got there. The schools were offering courses for Health Assistants, Nursing Assistants, Advance Birth Attendance, Laboratory Assistants, Pharmacist Assistants and First Aid nursing with their requirements below the general entry requirements for nursing.

Mrs. Veronica Darko, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of NMC told newsmen that the Council ordered for the closure of the schools following a tip off from a parent who had wanted to verify the status of the school.

She explained that it had become necessary to close down the schools because without professional accreditation from the National Accreditation Board and the Council, quality teaching and learning of trainees could not be guaranteed. She said the Council would not compromise with any institution that would not operate contrary to the regulations considering the delicate nature of the nursing profession.

Mrs Darko stated that the schools would not be allowed to operate until they met all requirements and advised all parents to verify the status of any institution before enrolling their children. On the fate of the trainees who had left the schools with certificates to practice, Mrs Darko said the Council would caution all health facilities across the country not to employ them. She further advised the students to apply to other health training schools if they have the requirements in order to guarantee their efficiency and professionalism.

Mr David Sede, PRECOHS Administrator told the team the school had made several attempts to gain accreditation and could therefore not explain why it was not yet accredited.

PRECOHS with a total student attendance of 170 has only four-classroom block, a room for practical works with no furniture or equipment, a visitor's room and one administrative office. The St. Amos School also operated in an uncompleted classroom block, which it shared with another basic school thus the students come for lectures only between 1400 to 1800 hours. Only a time-table on its programmes posted on a notice board showed the existence of St. Amos Nursing School.

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