June 24, 2024
P.O.Box 613ER Gombilla House, Lamashegu Market, Tamale, Northern Region

Poor conditions of service forcing nurses to seek greener pastures abroad – UDS lecturer

The Northern Regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives’ Association (GRNMA), has climaxed this year’s nurses week celebration and International Nurses Day in Tamale.  International Nurses Day is celebrated annually around the world on 12 May – the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale – and is led by the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Every year there is a different theme and for 2023 it is: “Our Nurses, Our Future.” The ICN, which represents millions of nurses worldwide, said that this theme sets out what the federation wants for nursing in years to come to address global health challenges.

Speaking at a symposium to climax the day in Tamale, Dr. David Abdulai Salifu, a lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University for Development Studies (UDS), who was the keynote speaker stated that, nurses constitute the largest group of the health workers globally and in Ghana and therefore needed to be given the necessary attention. He highlighted a number of challenges nurses are facing including poor condition of services thereby forcing most of them to travel out of the country to seek greener pastures. He stated that authorities must pay attention to nursing training institutions and universities to solve the challenges the schools “because our student nurses are our future nurses”.

He noted “Our student nurses are surely the future nurses and if we don’t get the problems fixed at our institutions correctly, we will continue to struggle and struggle with these challenges. Also is infrastructure and logistics challenges, library facilities are not there, online resource services are not there and we are still struggling with large student numbers”.

“Political interference, we are admitting huge number of students into our training institutions and universities to undertake a practical profession when we don’t have the capacity in training those numbers, we are training baked and half-baked nurses and, in that situation, will not be able to solve the problem”. He added.

The Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Sule Salifu, who was the special guest of honour at the symposium commended the nurses for their continuous support in providing quality health care delivery over the years. He also encouraged nurses to treat patients who visit their various facilities with care and empathy.

“Permit me to once again acknowledge your huge sacrifices over the years that are aimed at improving the health care delivery. Nonetheless, it is also regretting to mention some isolated instances where few health professionals who may be out of the difficulty use some interprets languages against the already frustrated patient or patient’s relative, we think that under no circumstance should you deployed that particular means because he/she is already frustrated and hoping that you will deliver him” he cautioned.

Dr. Ahmed Alhassan Sukerazu, Vice-chairman of Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives’ Association in the northern region, said the GRNMA as part of activities to mark the day will organize a free health screening exercise for the people of Doku, a community in the Savelugu Municipality of the northern region for the support the community has been rendering to nurses in the region. He said “being a nurse is a very special calling and it is a call from God. Today we are currently facing enormous  challenges  disease burden like covid-19, anthrax in the Upper East region, drugs and alcohol abuse and poor sanitation among others that depress the modern nurse”.  Reiterating the enormous contribution of nurses to the health care delivery system in the country, he called on government to provide the enabling working environment for nurses in Ghana to work in order to stop the brain drain.

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