The Upper East Region is set to benefit from eight district hospitals under the government's Agenda 111 policy, the Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Yakubu, has said.
The facilities would be provided in the Garu, Tempane, Pusiga, Binduri, Kassena-Nankana West, Nabdam, Bolgatanga East and Builsa South districts.
Last Tuesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of the Trede District Hospital in the Atwima Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region.
The ceremony formed part of the Agenda 111 to construct 101 district hospitals in districts without hospitals, two psychiatric hospitals for the middle and the southern belts, seven regional hospitals and the rehabilitation of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.
In 2020, during one of the updates on measures being undertaken by the government to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Akufo-Addo announced that the government had mapped out strategies to construct and equip all regions and districts without hospitals with those facilities.
Benefits of Agenda-111
Mr Yakubu, who made the disclosure during a working visit to the Zuarungu Nursing and Midwifery Training College in the Bolgatanga East District, further explained that the policy would ensure that handling of critical health cases, especially emergency cases, were enhanced while also improving upon the general health care system in the country.
He said the intervention would create numerous job opportunities in the health sector. He, therefore, charged the training institutions to train quality professionals to take advantage of the initiative to be gainfully employed and help contribute to ensuring effective health care in the region.
The acting Vice Principal of the Zuarungu Nursing and Midwifery College, Mr Nerius Alika, expressed the commitment of the college’s management to train skilled professional nurses and midwives to contribute to strengthening the health system in the region and the country as a whole.
He said apart from inadequate staff and student accommodation which had led to some of the students renting accommodation outside the school, the college did not also have enough lecture halls, Information and Communication Technology laboratory, a demonstration room and library complex to enhance effective teaching and learning.
Mr Alika further explained that the college was currently benefiting from the construction of three projects, including a dining hall, girls’ dormitory and a classroom block.
He said apart from the 200-capacity girls’ dormitory which had been completed and the first year students were occupying, the two other projects had stalled and abandoned by the contractors.
Mr Alika, therefore, appealed to the regional minister to help facilitate the resumption of work to complete the projects.
“Nursing is about clinical practice, so it requires means of transport to enable the staff to undertake effective monitoring and supervision on students when they are on the field doing their practical work and so we need a demonstration room, a library complex and ICT laboratories, especially now that students’ licensure examination is being taken online,” he further stated.
Mr Alika said that the school was currently affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University of Cape Coast, which awarded diplomas in registered general nursing and midwifery respectively.
“Currently, the midwifery programme that we are offering are for those who are already on the field - our products and community health nurses, but we are planning to start the straight midwifery training courses for those who have completed senior high schools,” he stated.
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