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Professor Lydia Aziato
Professor Lydia Aziato

Meet Professor Lydia Aziato: Leading nurse scholar in Ghana

Among the guests at the investiture was the President, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Popularly known as ‘Professor 1’ in nursing and midwifery circles, Professor Aziato, the daughter of peasant farmers, is the first nurse to achieve the rank of a professor in Ghana and West Africa.

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She is also the second nurse Vice Chancellor in Africa.

The appointment of Professor Aziato as the Vice Chancellor of UHAS brings to five the number of female vice chancellors in the country.

A native of Wudoaba in the Volta Region, and a product of Ghana Senior High School in Koforidua, the beneficiary of the Ghana COCOBOD Farmers’ Scholarship Trust completed the Advanced Level in that school in 1992.

In 1997, the studious young woman who grew up in the Eastern Region, completed studies at the Nursing and Midwifery College in Korle Bu in Accra to become a professional nurse.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Psychology in 2001, and a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in nursing in 2005, both from the University of Ghana.

During her M.Phil programme, she was awarded a scholarship from Unilever Ghana Limited.
In 2006, she completed her specialty training in Oncology Nursing from Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Canada.

After that, the scholar graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Nursing from the University of Western Cape (UWC), South Africa, in 2013.

Professor Aziato worked as a bedside nurse at the Mamprobi Polyclinic, Accra, before leaving for the University of Ghana, Legon in 2001 after her first degree.

At the University of Ghana, she rose through the ranks from Senior Nurse Technician to Assistant Lecturer and then Lecturer, before Associate Professor, and Professor in 2020.

Leadership roles
With 21-years of experience in academia, Professor Aziato was at different times Head of Department for Adult Health at the University of Ghana School of Nursing and Midwifery; acting Dean and later Dean of the school.
She was the first substantive Dean of the school.

During her five-year tenure as Dean, the school witnessed significant growth: the first M.Phil and M.SC Midwifery programmes in the school and Ph.D in Nursing were introduced.

She spearheaded the introduction of sandwich programmes at the school which also saw phenomenal growth in faculty and publications.


Professor Aziato was influential in rebranding the School of Nursing and Midwifery to become visible and research-focused.

She founded the Research Mentorship Alliance, a non-governmental organisation that gave her the platform to develop the research skills of young scientists in Ghana.
She is the President of Chi Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta International (STTI), the second largest nursing organisation in the world.

Academia
The accomplished professor has experience in mentoring multi-disciplinary doctoral students under the Pan-African Doctoral Academy (PADA).
She has taught at different levels from certificate to doctoral, in institutions and units such as: Centre for Social Policy Studies, the 37 Nursing and Midwifery College, Accra; Pantang Nursing Training College, Central University, and the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives (GCNM).

An experienced curriculum developer, Professor Aziato worked with the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission and Nursing and Midwifery Council since 2015 in supervising various programmes for accreditation in various universities and schools.

She has received several awards and recognitions for her professional and academic excellence.
Professor Aziato has published more than 70 articles in credible, international peer-reviewed journals, three books and four book chapters.
Her research interests include pain, breast cancer, and women’s health.

Citations
Citations of her research exceed 1,000, making her the leading nurse scholar in Ghana.
Professor Aziato has supervised more than 100 undergraduates, graduates and doctoral students over the years.

The UHAS Vice Chancellor who fellowships at Temple of Grace Church in Madina, Accra is married to the Registrar of the Bolgatanga Technical University, Zangu-Rana Ibrahim D. Yakubu, and they are blessed with three children.

The Mirror caught up with her on Wednesday (October 5) and engaged her in a brief chat.
TM: Was your journey success smooth?
VC: It was not, but I persevered.

TM: You are definitely a role model and a jewel to your country. What message do you have for the youth?
VC: There is no short cut to success and there is no such thing as free lunch. If you want to be an achiever then you must work hard towards the achievement.
TM: What are your hobbies?
VC: Reading

TM: What is your favourite food?
VC: Hmmm, I like akple with ademe, tuo zaafi, and fufu with light soup.
TM: Apart from English, what other language do you speak?

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VC: Ewe, Twi and Ga.
TM: Thank you.
VC: Have a nice day.

Email: [email protected] 

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