UCC to Award Certificates to 50 Sierra Leonean Nurses

The University of Cape Coast (UCC) has been engaged by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (N&MC) to award certificates to 50 enrolled nurses from Sierra Leone who are currently in Ghana to be trained as registered nurses and midwives.

As part of the two-year training, UCC will serve as the affiliate academic institution to award Diploma to the 50 students - comprising 12 males and 38 females - after successful completion of their studies, whereas the N&MC would also issue them license to practice as health professionals.

 The Korle Bu Nursing and Midwifery Training College would train 25 of the students in the Midwifery programme, whilst the rest would also undertake General Nursing programme at the Koforidua  Nursing and Midwifery Training College.

The training follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Nursing and Midwifery Council in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Ghana and Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), a leading global medical humanitarian organisation providing assistance in about 70 countries around the world.  The training project is part of MSF’s strategy to develop the required level of Human Resources for a proposed 160 bed Paediatric and Obstetric Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, which was one of the countries worst hit by Ebola outbreak in 2014. More than 200 health workers from the district lost their lives during the epidemic.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony for the students, the Minister for Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, said Ghana had committed herself to train them and, therefore, they should also put in their best to acquire the knowledge and skills to help in the delivering of quality health care to the people of Sierra Leone.  “The People of Sierra Leone really need your services so don’t disappoint them, you have to go back and help rebuild the health system of your country,” he urged them.

In his remarks at the function, the Head of Institutional Affiliation Office, Mr. Justice Boateng, said UCC would provide the best mentoring services in order to ensure that the students involved in the programme were given quality training.  “UCC offers the best mentoring services in the country. You only have to ask around and you would be told.” he assured.

As part of the mentoring services, Mr. Boateng said UCC shall moderate the examination questions, marking schemes, marked scripts and approve the examination results of students for each semester. He urged all partners involved in the training to observe the affiliation regulation to ensure a successful collaboration.

The Medical Director of MSF, Dr. Sebastian Spencer, said the focus of his organisation was to provide access to quality health care and thanked the government of Ghana for creating opportunity for the 50 students to undertake their studies in the country. He said the training would help the students to achieve their career objective of upgrading themselves to provide quality health care to the people of Sierra Leone.

Giving a background of the training project, the Registrar of the N&MC, Mr. Felix Nyante, said the MoU was as a result of a proposal by MSF to the Ministry of Health and the N&MC to design a bridge programme for certificate nurses from Sierra Leone to be trained in Ghana. He said prior to the commencement of the project, he led a team to Sierra Leone to conduct entrance examination and interviews which facilitated the screening of prospective trainee nurses and midwives. He indicated that the programme would begin from January 2018 to December 2019.

 Present at the function were the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Habib Tijani, Deputy Minister for Health, Mrs. Tina Mensah; Chief Director, Ministry of Health, Dr. Hafisa Zakaria; delegation from MSF; some staff members of N&MC, Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service.