The President of the Ghanaian-Diaspora Nurses Alliance (G-DNA), Prof. Yvonne Commodore Mensah, is advocating for the training of nurses with diverse specialties to meet the growing healthcare needs of the country.
According to her, ensuring the availability of specialised professionals in cardiology, diabetes, infectious diseases and cancers will, among other benefits, help advance quality healthcare delivery.
She said although the country boasts an appreciable number of nurses, the progress made in training basic nurses is yet to translate into the training of specialist nurses. “We need this specialised training to meet the healthcare needs of Ghanaians given the prevalence of several chronic conditions in the country. This will ensure that nurses have adequate levels of specialisation and training to care for patients,” she said.
She disclosed this to the B&FT during the official launch of the alliance in Accra, adding that: “Nurses are the bedrock of the healthcare system and any attempts made toward achieving universal health coverage that neglects or disinvests in nursing will have limited success”.
As the country strives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by expanding access to healthcare, she stressed the need to re-evaluate the current scope of practice of nurses to identify opportunities and improve on quality healthcare delivery.
Apart from this, she said nurses in the country have limited access to advanced clinical tools and logistics relevant to the delivery of quality and safe nursing care. “Nurses lack the requisite professional autonomy and independence to deliver care that hinges on principles of advocacy and patient-centredness,” she added.
Against this background, Prof. Mensah added that the G-DNA is seeking to provide a platform for Ghanaian nurses across the globe to communicate and collaborate to advance nursing education and practice.
“Our platform will also enable nurses in Ghana to share their knowledge, experiences and expertise with colleagues in the diaspora. We hope to provide opportunities for continuous learning programmes in nursing, including conferences, webinars, symposia and workshops, which will be led by expert Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian nurses who want to align themselves with our cause, researchers and academics across the globe.”
Furthermore, she said the alliance will foster sustained collaborations with international and local professional organisations and nurses’ training schools to review nursing curricula, policies and research to advance the nursing practice.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Director-General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, reiterated the need to beef up the number of nursing professionals in the country. “What we are doing is to expand the study leave period for auxiliary nurses so that in the next two to three years, they can become professional nurses and also beef up the quality of nurses and healthcare delivery in the country,” he added.