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"Lead change needed for your own good, people you lead, Ghanaians they serve"- Nurses/Midwives told

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Ghana, Dr. Wilfred Ochan has charged leadership of the nurses and midwives to lead the change needed for their own good, for the good of the people they lead and for the Ghanaians they serve.  


He made these remarks while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 4th Annual National Nursing and Midwifery Leaders and Managers Conference and 3rd Excellence Awards 2023 held at Ho in the Volta Region.


Addressing the leadership of the nurses and midwives, Dr. Ochan said I am calling on the leaders to deploy the right leadership character to ensure the 2030 agenda"


"It is the 4th time that they gather this way. But this time, it is a different gathering. At this gathering, profiles, titles and ranks no longer matter but the urgency to use this space to individually and collectively see the world as it is, and lead the change needed for their own good, for the good of the people they lead and for the Ghanaians they serve."


"This time, deep down in their hearts and minds, is the desire to stop the talking, but make the bold decision to walk the talk! For, conferences and conferences have been held transformational changes are desired now!"

 

He noted that nurses and midwives are highly competent, respectful and respected, and central in the care setting and family’s health and well-being.


"In the path I see, there are four different and interconnected paths that converge to bring the educators, regulators, practitioners and leaders of nursing and midwifery professional associations to a shared leadership to make the changes in the path that I see"

 

"I want to walk this path I see in my tomorrow, but walk it today especially the path of enlightenment. In this path, all nursing and midwifery training schools meet accreditation standards, are regularly monitored and supervised"

 

"Faculty members and students are happy and enjoying every bit of learning and learning is fun balancing traditional teaching with use of modern technology in the class, in the skills laboratories and for online library resourecs. The class to student ratio, the teacher to student ratio, and all the ratios are at optimum levels"


"Annual outputs of trained nurses and midwives are planned and match the number to provide quality services for the population needs, adequately prepared to respond to the disease burden and emerging conditions. In this path, all the nursing and midwifery student graduates are immediately employed in the public and private sector, because they are simply the best and the market is readied for them. I see the path for career progression…for my continuing professional development and career growth. In this path I see, high school student chose nursing and midwifery training as their career of first choice, above other courses"

 

He contended with the reality stressing that many a leader do not care much about the need to comply with education accreditation standards, the quality of the teaching staff, nor have adequate practical training.


"Application for nursing and midwifery training programmes are for those who choose these courses as a last resort, with little passion for it. School management admit more students than capacity permits, motivated by financial incentives, exceeding the optimum ratios"


He hinted that Technology and innovations are not weaved into the training programmes to save cost, despite the global trend.


"Graduates qualify and are not fully competent, have no jobs. Many are frustrated, restless and running away from the country"

 

"I take a look at my second path, and in this path, I see the path of proud and satisfied professional nurses and midwives, whose profession is well recognised and securely protected in the laws of the land for their unique roles and contributions to society’s well-being with well-defined scope of practice. In the path I see, I see those who complete nursing and midwifery training are promptly recognised and registered in an electronic database, tracked on regular basis so that at any single time, I am known and where I work and the roles I play"


"I am supported to undertake continuing professional development programmes to ensure that my skills remain current to changing trends. My ethical standards and code of conduct is above reproach, and I willingly take any sanctions when I default in compliance because of the pride I have in my profession, because I want to protect its image"

 

"But in walking to my path, my leadership reality is that poor quality and conditions of service persist in some places. Nurses and midwives are recruited and deployed on other parameters, and although hospital staffing norms are met, they do not align with the population needs in terms of size! As such staff are overworked, stressed and inadvertently rude to the patients! How will I walk my tomorrow, today in this state?"

 

 "Firstly, I will have to create with my team, the vision for change…the beautiful path that I see, work to inspire them to drive the change, and build the needed momentum for change while devising ways for overcoming any resistance to change, or rather any resistance to loss. I know people do not resist change, but they resist loss. Finally, I must ensure that I adopt and deploy the right leadership character to make the changes and work with networks of partners, adversaries, etc…for that is the path to walk"


Vice Chancellor of UHAS, Professor Lydia Aziato, expressed worry over the issue of migration of nurses and midwives from Ghana to foreign countries for general pastures.


She noted that alhough government can not stop the migration of nurses and midwives, it can moderate it.


This, she explained will give nurses and midwives the opportunity to acquire more knowledge and skills that will enhance their work.


She lauded the leadership for making the nursing and midwifery profession look vibrant and attractive by instituting the annual conference.  


On his part, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Alhaji Hafiz Adam said "At the heart of ensuring Universal Health Coverage (UHC) lies the pivotal role of nurses and midwives. Their expertise, dedication, and commitment to the well-being of others are indispensable to our nation’s health"


“The Ministry’s commitment to UHC is further exemplified by the roadmap to UHC, 2020-2030 a detailed action plan that outline the specific steps we will take to achieve our goals”


He stressed that recognising the important role played by nurses and midwives, led to the development of the Nursing and Midwifery Strategic Plan and Services Framework, 2019-2023 which will be succeeded by another five-year plan from 2024-2028.


“Through these policies and initiatives, we will achieve our goal of providing UHC for all Ghanaians by 2030"


Taking his turn, Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa said "Nursing and midwifery professionals play an indispensable role in our healthcare system, offering essential services to the people of Ghana"


"Their dedication, compassion, and expertise are the pillars upon which universal health coverage is built. It is only fitting that we gather here to celebrate and elevate your contributions to our society. As the Regional Minister, and indeed as a medical practitioner myself, I have had the privilege of witnessing the dedication of nurses and midwives in my era of practice and in particular visiting some of our healthcare facilities across the Volta Region"

 

 "Your high commitment to the well-being of our citizens in providing quality health care services, ranging from health promotion, health education, curative, palliative and rehabilitative is nothing short of extraordinary and worth commending"


"I can recount numerous instances, where the tireless efforts of nurses and midwives have saved lives and in particular during the covid-19 pandemic. You are the backbone of our healthcare system, and on this memorable day, we salute and celebrate you all for your selfless dedication and love for humanity. Ayekoooooo!"

 

"The theme of this conference, "Leading Nursing and Midwifery Health Workforce, Achieving Positive Outcomes for Universal Health Coverage," is both timely and relevant"


"Achieving universal health coverage is not possible without a strong, skilled, and dedicated nursing and midwifery workforce. I have no doubt that, the discussions and deliberations during this event will contribute to the betterment of healthcare in our nation"


In a speech read on behalf of Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma -Aboagye, he said "The focus of the Service is to increase the resilience of the health system, invest more in subnational health systems, digitalise the health system at all levels, promote self-care and to strengthened partnerships with communities, development partners and all relevant stakeholders, whose activities impact on health"


"Nurses and midwives together constitute 38.7% of the entire GHS workforce, hence their contribution to quality care delivery is huge and the need to equip them with the right skills, knowledge, and attitudes for positive outcomes for UHC cannot be overemphasized"


Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Barnabas Yeboah stressed that nurses and midwives play very important role in ensuring resilient health system, hence the need to empower them to do more. 


"This conference will provide the nurses and midwives leaders and managers with the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, learn from each other and indulge in the network of practice"


"The Excellence Awards is to recognise the good work of nurses and midwives. It is also to encourage and motivate others to excel in what they do"


Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Opoku Ware Ampomah underscored the need for nurses and midwives to be employed, paid and treated well in the country.


He hinted that such treatments will leave the nurses and midwives with no option than to stay in Ghana, work wholeheartedly and help save more lives.


Dr. Ampomah lauded the leadership for organising the conference


 Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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