Fifty nurses from Sierra Leone have begun a two-year registered diploma in nursing and midwifery programme in Ghana to improve their skills.
The commencement of the training follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a leading emergency medical humanitarian organisation working in about 70 countries around the world.
The training will be conducted at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and Koforidua Nursing Training School, and it is expected to develop the required level of human resource for a proposed 160-bed paediatric and obstetric hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, which was the hardest hit during the Ebola outbreak.
Over 200 health workers in the district lost their lives during the epidemic.
A special ceremony was held for the enrolled nurses who arrived in the country last week and will soon commence their training at the selected schools for the stipulated period.
Officially welcoming the students into the country, Felix Nyante, registrar of NMC, disclosed that Ghana was chosen by MSF for the training due to the international standards for nursing and midwifery education, training and practices that the schools under the Council offer.
He said a team from Ghana which he led was in Sierra Leone to conduct an entrance examination and interview to facilitate the screening of the prospective nurses and midwives.
“We also did an orientation for the selected students prior to their arrival in the country,” he said.
Mr Nyante added that the students will sit for the Council’s licensing examination in Ghana to be supervised by University of Cape Coast (UCC) after their studies and inducted in Sierra Leone.
Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu explained that although Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2016, it is faced with the difficulty of rebuilding its health system shattered by the epidemic.
He, therefore, entreated the enrolled nurses to make use of the opportunity and study to merit the diploma certificates and return to Sierra Leone to help revamp its health system.
“Many of your loved ones have sacrificed so much so that you may have the privilege of a nursing and midwifery training and education so honour their sacrifice by giving your best,” he encouraged them.
Sebastian Spencer, Medical Director of MSF, in his remarks expressed the hope that the training will meet the overall goal of impacting on maternal and child indices in Sierra Leone.