The Community Health Nurses Association, has appealed to the Ministry of Health, the Director General of Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders to reverse the decision to change the designation Community Health Nurses to Nurse Assistants.
The Association noted that the move to change the designation by the Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) contravenes Article 191(b) of the 1992 Constitution and amounts to demotion.
Mrs Esther Bamfo, President of the Association addressing a news conference said a petition to has been sent to the Minister of Health and NMC since May to reverse the decision but to no avail.
“We have suffered discrimination and frustration for far too long and would not sit down for this demotion to be carried out,” she said, indicating that the NMC failed to engage the association before the re-designation.
She noted that the association is giving the Nurses and Midwifery Council a 14- day ultimatum to reverse the re-designation; “we will embark on a peaceful demonstration and if that is not heeded to, we will then lay down our tools and thereafter seek a court intervention”.
Mrs Bamfo said Community Health Nurses Training Schools are trained for two years and work at the community level to undertake and champion health prevention and promotion.
She said for than 50 years they have been frontline actors in healthcare delivery in Ghana and are champions of Community-based Health Planning and Services programme.
She said for decades Community Health Nurses have performed vast range of services such as immunisation, family planning activities, deliveries and some aspects of curative healthcare.
Mrs Bamfo said if there is a change of designation to Nurse Assistant the roles must also change.
She said Community Health Nurses give assistance to about 687 people in a community but with nurse assistant it simply means that they would only provide support to the main nurses.
Through the independent efforts of Community Health Nurses in the country, healthcare have been made accessible to all and sundry and have also helped in reducing maternal mortality and infant mortality in various parts of the country.
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