The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) has graduated 376 students at its main campus in Ho at its second congregation.
The event was held in the University’s newly constructed 1,200-seater “CEDI” auditorium complex funded by the Bank of Ghana.
Students were awarded degrees in Dietetics, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Physician Assistantship, Midwifery, Nursing, and the Public Health sciences.
Professor John Gyapong, the Vice Chancellor, urged the graduates to be “agents of positive change”, as they seek to attain success in their fields of work.
He said the University has recently established the School of Pharmacy, which offers a six-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmaD) programme, bringing to six, and 18, the total number of schools, and programmes being offered respectively.
Mr Gyapong said the Institute of Health Research, established in November 2016, was aimed at championing research into problems of public health importance, and currently operates four centres which include the Center for Malaria Research, and the Center for non-communicable Diseases Research.
He expressed gratitude to government for the financial clearance in 2016 to recruit more staff saying it has led to the increase in staff population from ten in 2012 to over 600 presently, with increasing student population from 125 to over 3,700.
Mr Gyapong appealed to government to address the huge infrastructural challenge confronting the University, because only one out of the eight schools had been built, adding that academic facilities were in temporary structures, and not a single Hall of residence was available for students.
He said with the free senior high school policy, tertiary institutions would have to enrol more students hence the need to expand their facilities.
Justice Victor Jones Dotse, Chairman of the University’s Council, said graduates form part of the ‘physical manpower’ of the health sector and asked them not to compromise the image of the institution.
He called on all to help the University address issues of inadequate infrastructure and financial constraints among others.
Mr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education, in a speech read on his behalf, commended the University for “achieving a lot from the little resources available”, saying it was evident in the rise in student population, and the speedy establishment and operationalization of the Institute of Health Research.
He said government was committed to addressing the infrastructural deficits in all public universities and that agreements to execute a second phase of the China Aid project to build the other Schools were far advanced.
Mr Prempeh said government aims at providing a conducive and academically friendly environment for students and gave the assurance that road networks in the University would be completed and other challenges addressed.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, asked graduates to honour their service postings especially to the underserved areas to balance service delivery and promised to engage stakeholders in addressing the needs of the University.
Professor Fred Newton Binka, Founding Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr Christiana Amoako-Nuama, and Dr Delanyo Dovlo were awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees for their contributions to education and health in the country.
Mr Amos Sorengmen Ziema, a graduate of the School of Public Health, was the overall best graduating student, with three other awards in the Public Health Programme.
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.