Bagbin turns heat on health students
IN LESS THAN 48 hours after descending heavily on some health personnel for being major contributors to the high prevalence of maternal deaths at the various health facilities in Ghana, the Minister of Health, Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin has turned the heat on students and authorities of the various Health Training Institutions to admonish them to re-examine their behavior towards the profession right from the classroom.
According to the Minister, it was better for the current crop of students to realize the difficulties or otherwise involved in their chosen profession, rather than parading themselves as health personnel after their studies without demonstrating the virtues of the noble profession.
Addressing students and management of the Damango Health Assistants Training School at Damango in the West Gonja District of the Northern Region, Mr. Bagbin entreated the students to uphold the core values of the health profession including being disciplined, caring, passionate and above all respectful and loving to all manner of patients.
“I think it is better for you to look elsewhere or choose a different profession where you can contribute meaningfully to the development of this nation rather than flooding the health sector, taking tax payers’ money and at the end of the day you provide nothing but disservice to our women or the nation”.
He said that the government had invested so much in the health sector and motivated the personnel and even the students enough, and that he equally expected them to translate the good treatment they were receiving into caring for their patients. At the Gushegu Post-Basic Midwifery Training School, the Minister’s comment was not different.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister on Tuesday September 11, 2011, warned that it was becoming increasingly unacceptable for Ghana to continue to lose more women during child birth, owing to the rude and unprofessional conduct of some health personnel.
Mr. Bagbin thus threatened to lead a crusade against the personnel where he would encourage Ghanaians to begin to institute legal actions against reckless health personnel and institutions whose behavior contribute to the death of women in Ghana.
He was alarmed by records that were showed to him during a meeting with health players in Tamale where he discovered that the Northern Region alone between 2011 and the first half of 2012 (January to June) recorded as high as 200 maternal deaths. A total number of 130 women died in 2011 and 70 deaths in the first half of 2012, which is an indication that the region is fast losing the fight against the maternal mortality. Sadly enough, 65 out of the 70 women who died in 2012 representing 96.2% were recorded at the health facilities.
The Principal of the Damango Health Assistants Training School, Ms. Annie Adeodata Appoh called for adequate supply of water, additional infrastructure and proper lighting system to avoid snake bites.
After paying a courtesy call on the Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Bore Essa I, the Health Minister in the company of the Northern Regional Director of Health, Dr. Akwasi Twumasi and the West Gonja District Coordinating Director, Mr. Sayibu Inusah also met with the health personnel and officials at the West Gonja District Assembly to discuss issues affecting health service delivery.
Mr. Bagbin almost wept after inspecting the completely dilapidated Damango Government Hospital and sympathized with the health personnel and patients patronizing the facility.
He immediately ordered for a completely new ultra-modern (state of the arts) hospital for the West Gonja District for commissioning by President, John Dramani Mahama, who is a native of the area. The hospital is where the President’s umbilical cord was cut, but it is so far one of the decrepit health facilities in Ghana now.
But the Minister is positive the government would begin the reconstruction of the facility before the close of the year (2012) and encouraged the people to retain the ruling government in order to enable them complete and commission the project.
“My heart is completely down and I wish I could cry because I have never seen a dilapidated hospital like this before especially in a middle income nation like ours. The facilities here are below the status of the people in this district and it is dangerous for you (the personnel) and our patients”.
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