General News of Friday, 11 February 2011

Source: GNA

Government seeks to upgrade professional competence of health workers

Hohoe, Feb 11, GNA-Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, Director, Human Resource for Health Development (HRHD, Ministry of Health (MOH), on Wednesday disclosed that government was collaborating with institutions of higher learning to upgrade health professionalism through training and specialization.

He said these policy directions would not only set standards and bring service to the doorsteps of clients but targeted at achieving the Millenniu= m Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

Dr Appiah-Denkyira made this disclosure in a speech read for him at th= e fourth matriculation of the 2010/2011 batch of 78 students enrolled for Diploma in Midwifery programme at the Hohoe Midwifery Training School. He said the country's universities have been keen on initiating training programmes for health professionals across board aimed at injectin= g competency, professionalism and motivation in the work.

Dr Appiah-Denkyira said discussions are underway with University of Cape Coast and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to introduce Bachelor of Science degree in Mental Health and Health Midwifery so that practicing health workers with diplomas could aspire for the award of a degree. He announced that existing midwifery training schools at Atibie, Mampong, Jirapa and Bolga have commenced Enrolled Community Midwifery (ECM) programmes with four new schools being established at Pramso, Goaso, Nandom and Dormaa Ahenkro.

Dr Appiah-Denkyira said of the 42,000 qualified applicants out of 60,000 applications received, only 13,000 were admitted constituting only 2= 0 per cent of qualifiers and urged the 91lucky few" to justify their enrollment. According to him, it was the desire of the MOH to restore its sinking image to that of humble, positive, caring and professional cadres poised to become change agents.

Mrs Patricia Azumatse, Matron of the Hohoe Municipal Hospital, who administered the matriculation oath, entreated students to be guided and guarded by the rules, regulations, ethics and standards of the midwifery profession and refrain from acts, which would bring the image of the school into disrepute.

She said ideally, 8,000 midwives were needed for the entire populatio= n but only 3,000 were in active service currently and added that the MOH and the GHS deemed the training of midwives as an important step for achieving MDG 4 and 5.

Ms Ernestina O. Akowuah, Acting Principal of the Midwifery Training School, indicated student's population stood at 236 from the first batch of 15 students who pursued the straight midwifery programme for two-and-half years. Ms Akowuah urged MOH to post adequate number of tutors to the school a= s the present six was insufficient to teach the requisite courses, meeting students' assessment and deadlines for submission of results. She appealed for a bigger bus to match the increasing student's inta= ke as the frequent breakdown of the existing ones was a worry and burden on it= s finances. Ms Akowuah said additional furniture was needed urgently for the new classroom blocks and offices, appealing to stakeholders to donate more computers to the school and commended parents and guardians for the purchas= e of 20 computers.

She was optimistic that continued support from stakeholders would increase 93so that we would train students to become competent midwives to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality rates." Togbega Gabusu VI, Paramount Chief of Gbi Traditional Area, suggested that the school be relocated to a more spacious area with the old structure turned into a paediatric hospital to serve the northern part of the Volta region.

He lamented the phenomenon where students were only trained at Hohoe and posted outside the area, stressing that some form of retention or bonding be introduced to allow products to serve the community. Togbega urged the freshmen to justify the investments being made by their parents and government and respond to their calling. Ms Mary Mensah, President of the School's Representative Council (SR= C), said increasing student population were placing a toll on existing structures and called for remedies.

Ms Beatrice Vierra, on behalf of matriculants pledged to abide by the rules and regulations of the institution and even leave it better than they came to meet it.