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15.12.2004 Health

Second batch of Health Aides training programme ends at Brong Ahafo

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Sunyani (B/A), Dec. 15, GNA - The second batch of Health Aides Training programme for the Ghana Health Service in the Brong Ahafo has ended at Tanoso Nursing training Centre in the Tano North District of the region.

Sixty-seven out of the original 69 trainees listed for the training passed out, but for two, who left in the course of the programme. The training programme covered anatomy and physiology, microbiology and patient's charter, organization structure, communication skills, environmental health and family health or personal hygiene, infection prevention, observation, disease control, nursing care and first aid. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the programme at the Auditorium of the College for Renewable and Natural Resources (CRNR) in Sunyani on Wednesday Dr. David A. Opare, Head of the Second Batch Health Aides Training programme said the programme had become inevitable in the current health-care delivery system, because the time had come for the Service to get the correct staff mix, and to get auxiliary staff to support health professionals in the event of the exodus of health professionals abroad.

Dr. Opare said around the first-quarter of this year, all the 19 Budgetary Management Centres in the Service were asked to nominate qualified people for the second batch of the programme with requirement educational qualification of passes in English and Mathematics at the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) He said a panel of seven members interviewed 100 prospective trainees and 69 of them were selected for a six months training programme made up of three months classroom work and three months practical sessions.

He said all the trainees passed in a mid-term examination conducted as at the end of July with Miss Apau Naomi Takyiwaa from Jaman District topping them all.

The trainees also had three months practical training session at the Sunyani Regional Hospital, which was completed on Tuesday, December 14, 2004.

Dr. Opare told the Health Aides graduates that their training was an entry point into the Service, stressing that it had become a profession because it had all the attributes including conceptual base, production base, reproduction base and utilization base.

He urged the trainees to let the knowledge and skills acquired shine at all places they might be working as well as showing discipline, respect for authorities and more systematic in the way they worked.

Dr. Opare reflected on the discussions of a review meeting in the course of the programme and made six-point suggestions to be considered by the Service including the need for the entry requirement to be lowered to cover graduates from Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) and also hardworking casual labourers with long service, who possess Middle School Leaving Certificate (MSLC).

The tuition fees of the training course should be borne by the GHS among others.

Dr. Mohammed Bin Ibrahim, the Regional Director of GHS noted that, even though there was the need for correct staff mix, and also to get auxiliary staff to support health professionals in the event of exodus of health professionals, there was still a further threat as other auxiliary staff were being converted into professional staff. Dr. Ibrahim said in 2003, the region trained 50 health aides, adding that, the region was gunning for 100 of them in the year 2005 and stressed that plans were far advanced to start the next batch of training.

He advised the trainees to respect patients and clients because, as he put it, "without patients and clients we are unemployed". The Regional Director of Health Services announced that there were a lot of reforms going on in the Service and advised the graduates to avail themselves to the reforms and learn very hard to benefit such reforms when they became operational.

Dr. Daniel Asare, Medical Superintendent in-charge of the Sunyani ultra-modern Regional Hospital, who chaired the function told the graduates that the nation has no place for lazy people and asked the Health Aides to help the Service give quality health delivery to people in our communities and societies.

Dr. Asare reminded them that their training was just the beginning and asked them to improve upon their studies to enable them rise up in the profession they had chosen.

Miss Takyiwaa, a 20-year-old former student of Wenchi Senior Secondary School who emerged the best student was the toast of the officials at the high table at the ceremony as she was mobbed and hugged for her outstanding performance in the six-month training period. 15 Dec 04

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