General News Sat, 4 Jun 2005

GHS holds graduation ceremony for Health Aides

Ho, June. 4, GNA - The Volta Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is unable to operate six health facilities because of lack of staff, especially nurses.

The facilities are at Dambai in the Krachi-East District, Chinderi in the Krachi-West District, Adutor and Anyanui in the Keta District, Tongor-Dzemeni in the South-Dayi District and Juapong in the North-Tongu District.

Dr. Andrews A. Arde-Acquah, Volta Regional Director of the GHS said this on Friday at the graduation ceremony for the first batch of Health Aides, trained to perform auxiliary duties at health outfits in the Volta Region.

Dr Arde-Acquah said, at the Regional Hospital in Ho, medical and surgical patients were normally "clamped" together because of the inability of the hospital to put into operation the medical ward due to lack of staff.

He said the apparent shortage of key staff necessitated the training of an auxiliary cadre of staff to function as utility staff. The 90 Health Aides, comprising 62 men and 28 women went through introductory courses in anatomy, nursing care, reproductive health, infection prevention, nutrition, health promotion and waste management, first aid and health system administration for six months, three of which were on the field.

Dr Arde-Acquah said the Aides would be bonded to serve the GHS for three years, in default of which, they would be expected to pay full cost of training at the prevailing bank rate. The district and municipal assemblies selected candidates and sponsored them through the course for service in the various districts, while the GHS "will regularize their employment and ensure payment of their remuneration."

Mr. Prince Boni, Deputy Director, Human Resources Development Division of the GHS said the programme was conceived in 1998 but was started in 2003 after consensus on mode of training was reached among stakeholders. He said the non-ethical duties that would be performed by the Aides would ease the strain on nurses and other hospital staff as a result of the attrition rate of professionals in the GHS.

Mr. Boni asked the district assemblies to encourage the Aides to pursue courses to become professional nurses. Mr. Mawutor Goh, in a speech read for him advised the Aides to guard against the temptation of offering themselves for jobs that they have not been trained for. Ms Eunice Dagbe, Course Prefect urged her colleagues to regard the course as a stepping-stone to attaining higher status in the health delivery sector. Dr Leonard Dovlo, Chairman of the Volta Regional Health Committee, who presided said the collaboration between the GHS and the District Assemblies for the innovative programme was exemplary.

Source: GNA