Takoradi, Nov.1, GNA - Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, on Tuesday appealed to nurses and other health personnel to accept postings to rural areas.
He made the appeal at the second Regional Nurses Awards Day during which 75 nurses in the region were honoured at Takoradi. Mr Aidoo said to accept to serve in a deprived area is the greatest service that health personnel can render to the country". He said the government would never relent in its efforts at improving the working of all workers, including nurses. "As a nation and a developing one at that, we can only attain the middle income status through increased productivity which nurses and other health personnel play no mean role".
He said government was committed to ensuring quality health service delivery for all and that it was for this reason that the government introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Mr Aidoo said the NHIS would increase attendance at health facilities and urged health personnel to face the challenge by exhibiting the highest form of professionalism, composure and tolerance. "We believe that the success or otherwise of the scheme is largely dependent upon you nurses". Mr Aidoo said cholera outbreak was reported at Sefwi Bodi in the Juabeso-Bia District.
He said people were not following basic personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
Mr Aidoo said the disease required preventive measures such as good sanitation and asked nurses to sensitise the people against the disease. He called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, the media, religious groups, market queens and identifiable groups to collaborate with the staff of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in this direction.
Dr Sylvester Anemana, Regional Director of the GHS, said nurses' manpower in the region and the country, as a whole was inadequate, adding that there was an average of 48 nurses to 100,000 patients, which is below the national average of 64 nurses to 100,000 patients. Dr Anemana said the Juabeso-Bia district had about eight nurses to 100,000 patients while the Shama-Ahanta East Metropolis had 10 nurses to 100,000 patients.
He said as a result of the shortage, some nurses worked in three shifts in a day and sometimes, ward assistants and other health personnel were mobilised to perform the duties of nurses. Dr Roland Sowah, senior doctor at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital, said the day was instituted by the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC) to motivate nurses and check the brain drain. Miss Rose Vida Mensah, a 29-year old nurse at Sekyere Krobo Community Clinic in the Mpohor Wassa East District was adjudged the best regional nurse.
She received a Rover saloon car and five million cedis cash. Miss Elizabeth Ayiah, 34, of Jomoro District, placed second and was presented with a set of room furniture and television set. Miss Doris Minkah-Dwira, 32, of Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District received the third prize of a set of room furniture and a gas cooker. Miss Lucy Baidoo, 34, of Juabeso-Bia received the fourth prize of a queen size bed and a ghetto blaster. Others were presented with ghetto blasters, television sets and refrigerators.