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15.01.2006 General News

School of Hygiene students boycott classes

By GNA

Accra, Jan 15, GNA - Students of the Accra School of Hygiene have decided to boycott lectures until their grievances including the recognition of the Diploma awarded by the institution have been addressed.

In a statement issued in Accra at the weekend, they said the decision of the Ministry of Health to upgrade all the three-year Health training institutions throughout the country to Diploma status including the School was welcomed.

They pointed out however that even though the School belongs to an Association known as Greater Accra Health Training Institutions (GHATI), which is made up of the six health training institutions in the metropolis, all the other ones apart from the school have been secured affiliation and accreditation to universities.

The other institutions included the Nurses Training Colleges, School of Medical Laboratory and the School of Radiological Technology. It noted with regret that accreditation/affiliation had been given to all the institutions, which were certificate awarding institutions while the School that started awarding Diploma long before Ghana's Independence was left out, adding that if anything at all the School of Hygiene should have be the first.

The students described the situation as frightening and worrying because of the neglect and lack of post training prospects since graduates of the School can not climb higher on the academic ladder to pursue graduate studies like the other health training institutions while their job placement and salary levels were low.

The statement in Accra at the weekend signed by the President of the School, Mr Joseph Ayuboya, appealed for re-call of the old Sanitary Inspectors back to duty to fight the sanitation problems engulfing the country since the focus on curative health was failing the country. It said the need for a new treatment of malaria, the endemic outbreak of cholera, guinea worm and other diseases indicated the problems focus on curative health was posing to the country. It said even though Sanitary Inspectors now known as Environmental Health Officers existed and were working in every community, their performance had been swallowed by frustrations, lack of resources to work with, incentives and other problems right from their period of training at the School to the field.

The statement pointed out that the School was established in 1925 to produce staff to enforce sanitary laws and liquid waste treatment, protection of water sources, solid waste management, food/meat hygiene and safety.

It stated that with 2006 declared as the year of sanitation by the government it would do something about the status of the school. They called on the Minister of Health and other stakeholders to address the problems if the government's policies on human resource development, National Health Insurance Scheme, tourism development could not be achieved if the country was not kept clean and healthy.

"This will also put to good use of the billions of cedis spent on preventable diseases per year for other viable projects to enhance the development of the country, the statement said.

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