$68m project for UHAS takes off

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah

The second phase of infrastructure construction for the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ho has started.

This follows a sod-cutting ceremony performed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Friday.

The almost $68-million Chinese aid project comprises the construction of the university’s Administration Block, the School of Nursing and Midwifery, classrooms, skills laboratories, a library and offices, all on a 30,000 square-metre floor space.

The first phase projects were constructed on 10,000 square metres of land.

The project is expected to be completed in 30 months to pave the way for the university to increase its student population from 6,000 to about 10,000.

A Chinese contractor, Nantong Si Jian, is executing the project and it has completed preparatory activities to facilitate its smooth take-off.

                                                                  An artist’s impression of the project

Impressive performance

President Akufo-Addo, who was on a working visit to the Volta Region, congratulated the university on the feat and said even though UHAS was young, its performance over the years had been impressive, for which reason it must be supported to expand its infrastructure.

"Now, already we have made-in-Ho medical doctors,” he said, and expressed his belief that the university would continue to produce very high quality medical and scientific personnel for the country.

He further congratulated the university on becoming one of the COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres that served the Volta and Oti regions and parts of the Eastern Region.

President Akufo-Addo expressed appreciation to the Chinese government for its solidarity and friendship, and promised that it would continue to grow from strength to strength.

"It gives me the opportunity to express once again the strong appreciation of the government and the people of Ghana to the government of the People's  Republic of China," he said, adding that the One China policy continued to be the cornerstone of the foreign policy of that country.

The President had, prior to the sod-cutting, inspected ongoing projects of the university on its Hohoe Campus.

Professionals for Agenda 111

The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Lu Kun, said his government believed in education and quality medical care and, therefore, would continue to support the university to produce the best for the country.

He said with the completion of the phase two project, the UHAS would become one of the most beautiful and modern universities in the country.

According to the ambassador, the university, through that development, would produce more quality medical professionals for Ghana's Agenda 111 initiative to build hospitals.

Mr Kun noted that Africa and China would continue their collaboration based on the One China Principle, promising that China would remain a sincere partner to Ghana and its development.

Support from government

The Vice-Chancellor of UHAS, Professor John Owusu Gyapong, expressed excitement about the project and the continuous support from the government, especially in providing counterpart funding to enable the project to commence as scheduled.

"This is the second phase of the overall development of this main UHAS campus and to fulfil your promise of adequate infrastructural development in preparation for admitting more students from the free SHS programme instituted by your government,” he said.

While thanking the President for his special commitment to the growth of the university, Prof. Gyapong said: “It is always humbling to see that you take great interest in the development of UHAS. UHAS is determined to be a star in tertiary education, and your constant interest in us gives us all the zeal and commitment to push this agenda to provide quality health manpower to solve our country’s health needs.”

He commended the government for accelerating the construction of the Sokode-Titrinu dual carriage road, including the internal roads of UHAS, to give it the facelift it deserved.

Prof. Gyapong requested that the government provide the necessary funds for the contractor to finish the road on time.

He also appealed for two high volume buses to facilitate the commuting of students and staff between the Ho Teaching Hospital and the main campus.