Strengthen Midwifery Education- First Lady

Mrs Lordina Mahama, the First Lady, at the weekend called for the strengthening of midwifery education to provide innovative, evidence-based and cost effective quality care to women, babies and society at large. She said midwives render invaluable services and therefore needed to be supported to become self-motivated to meet the challenges of reproductive health. Mrs Mahama said these in an address read for her at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Midwifery Training School at Hohoe, which was under the theme, “Reducing Maternal Mortality- Key to National Development: Our Collective Responsibility.” She described the country’s maternal mortality rate of 380 per100,000 live births and the under five mortality rate of 78 per1,000 live births as far ahead of the standards specified in the Millennium Development Goal Four and Five (MDGs 4&5). The First Lady said government and the Lordina Foundation would continue to build and expand health infrastructure with the collaboration of development partners to make healthcare delivery more accessible. She said “together we will carry forward the maternal and child healthcare strategies for accelerated progress for all.” Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, Minister of Health, disclosed that government anticipates that with the right strategy and attitudes the unwarranted deaths could be prevented by deploying time tested technologies. He challenged all health institutions to strictly enforce the Service code of ethics and disciplinary procedures with the view of curbing the spate of indiscipline in the industry. Dr Agyeman-Mensah commended the School for churning out a total of 1,862 midwives since inception, who were serving in various capacities in the country. Ms Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Volta Regional Minister said government would construct new district hospitals at Dambai, Adaklu and Kpassa to augment the existing facilities in addition to taking concrete steps to upgrade a number of health facilities, supply medical equipment and build new community-based health planning systems (CHPS) compounds in the region. She announced that works on the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) have reached an advanced stage stating that government was committed to laying the necessary infrastructure and personnel to provide the manpower needs in the health sector. Ms Narki Doku, Principal of the School, said her outfit was envisioned to become a centre of excellence in the training of reproductive health professionals in the country and beyond with a workforce of 57 including 17 tutors and complemented by part time, mentee tutors and national service personnel. She indicated that the school’s current population stood at 306 and the students are pursuing a three-year diploma in midwifery programme different from the 15 pioneering students who undertook a straight midwifery course at inception in 1972. Ms Doku said the school’s academic performance was impressive this year, scoring 91.7 percent in the licensing examination, placing fourth on the national performance index, a feat the school exhibited by topping the nation in 2011, where students recorded 87.5 percent. She commended the government for completing works on the multi-purpose block comprising classrooms, tutors offices, computer and skills acquisition laboratories, the expansion of the library. She said the school was challenged with facilities including hostels, staff residence and a multi-purpose complex where academic, social and other important functions could be held. Ms Doku announced that the School has been granted institutional accreditation by the national Accreditation Board as a tertiary institution since September 2013 and affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Togbega Gabusu VI, Paramount Chief of Gbi Traditional Area, who chaired the function, urged stakeholders to play their roles effectively for the attainment of health for all. Ms Mahama presented 10 laptops to the School and deserving past and current staff and students were honoured for their sterling contribution to the success story.