Professor Lydia Aziato, the Dean, School of Nursing, University of Ghana, has called for advanced specialist training for nurses and midwives to adequately address the health needs of the populace.
She said nursing and midwifery specialisation was one surest way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as equiping professionals with the requisite knowledge and skills to provide the most appropriate care to clients.
Prof Aziato said this at the Fifth Annual General Meeting and Induction Ceremony of the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives (GCNM) in Accra.
It was on the theme: “Advanced Specialist Nursing and Midwifery towards the Achievement of the SDGs Amidst COVID-19.”
She said the specialist programmes were the hallmark of clinical practice, where the nurse or midwife was empowered to practice with a high degree of autonomy and independence to contribute effectively to healthcare delivery.
Nurses and midwives were key players in the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda to ensure a holistic framework to eradicate inequality and preserve the well-being of the populace, she said.
Prof Aziato said the motivation for specialisation arose from scientific and technological discoveries along with continuously evolving health concerns globally.
“For example, the devastating COVID-19 pandemic urgently calls for a specialisation in Infectious Disease Nursing”.
She said in advancing specialist nursing and midwifery in Ghana, there was the need to resource the training institutions and give them the legal backing to be able to deliver.
Prof Aziato urged government to take the issue seriously as it would help overcome the geographical disparity in healthcare access and delivery, by taking the services to the doorstep of the populace.
Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf, congratulated the inductees for successfully undergoing the training.
He said the Ministry was excited that GCNM had taken its principal role as one of the key postgraduate colleges in the health sector to bring specialist to offer mental health care to Ghanaians.
“The government will ensure sound policies that will support similar partnerships with both government and non-governmental organisations to ensure that specialist training in nurses and midwifery expands from our critical lead areas in our health sector,” he said.
Ms Hannah Akua Oparebea Acquah, the Rector of the GCNM, said the College was mandated to train more specialised nurses and midwives to improve health care delivery in the country.
The College, which run eight Membership programmes from its inception, has expanded to deliver 13 and five Associate Membership programmes across three divisions.
The Associate Membership courses include Paediatrics Nursing, Emergency Nursing, Neonatal Nursing and Nephrology Nursing.
“Under Membership we have, Oncology, Palliative Care, Paediatrics, Emergency, Neonatal, Advanced Midwifery and Well Woman Care,” the Rector said.
A total of 179 Associate Members and 65 Members from the Accra, Kumasi and Tamale training schools were inducted.