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05.08.2005 Health

Upper West Health Director hails re-introduction of Enrolled Nurses

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Wa, Aug 5, GNA - Dr Erasmus Agongo, Upper West Regional Director of Health Services on Thursday commended the government for its decisions to re-introduce the training of enrolled nurses in the health sector. The re-introduction, he explained would not only improve the staffing levels at various health centres throughout the country, but would also bridge the gap created by the mass exodus of nurses and other health workers for greener pastures over the years.

Dr Agongo, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the re-introduction of enrolled nurses, said it was a further boost to the Ghana Health Service, as there would be an increment in staffing. "We at the Ghana Health Service have been fighting over the years for its re-introduction and I think that, it is only fair to commend the government for considering that proposal". He said the stoppage of the programme since 1985 has brought untold hardships on the health facilities in the face of inadequate staffing and the refusal of some members of staff to accept postings into the rural areas.

On the training of senior secondary school graduates to become medical assistants, the director said it was a laudable decision, which could help stem the spread of preventable diseases in rural communities.

Dr Agongo said it was impossible for medical doctors to be posted to all health facilities throughout the country and so, the training of medical assistants could reduce the workload of doctors at the referral hospitals, since some of such cases would no longer be referred.

The Regional Director said another major problem that needed urgent attention was the provision of infrastructure for the training schools. "In the Upper West Region, we have only one premises for State Registered Nurses, Community Health Nurses and Midwives and with the introduction of Enrolled Nursing, more infrastructures would be needed to accommodate more students. He said under the prevailing circumstances the Regional Directorate was liaising with the Nurses Training College at Bolgatanga in the Upper East to take some of their students, since they have a bigger place until they increased their facilities. "With the re-introduction of Enrolled Nursing, the annual mass exodus of nurses and other paramedics would not affect the health sector seriously again".