200 Cuban trained Ghanaian doctors to return home next year — GNPC boss
Two hundred Ghanaian medical doctors, training in Cuba, with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Foundation scholarships are due home next year to augment the medical human resource capacity of the country.
The medical students’ return is expected to significantly improve Ghana's doctor to patient ratio which currently stands around 1:6,000.
The beneficiaries, who were carefully selected from rural districts of the country, would undertake a mandatory service in underprivileged facilities to help improve healthcare delivery.
The Executive Director of the GNPC, Dr Dominic Eduah, said about 340 other Ghanaians were also on scholarships in other countries training mostly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme as part of efforts to build the human resource base needed for the country's accelerated growth.
He was speaking at a passing out ceremony for 337 other beneficiaries of GNPC's empowerment programmes last Thursday.
They are mainly graduating artisans who had gone through training and certification examination, with support from the GNPC Foundation and Aseda Foundation in the Central Region, at a ceremony in Cape Coast.
In an unconventional graduation ceremony, the artisans donned their academic gowns and were called up the dais to receive their certificates.
At the graduation ceremony, Dr Eduah said the doctor-training scholarships was a special initiative by the GNPC Foundation to improve the doctor-patient ratio in the country for better health care.
He explained that the GNPC Foundation had given about 7,500 in local scholarship for students in Ghanaian institutions since 2018 with the foundation giving out 1500 scholarships this year alone.
The GNPC Executive Director said the foundation was working in education, environment and social amenity provision and economic empowerment as part of efforts to better the lives of Ghana.
He urged the graduands to appreciate the certificate, saying it added value and gave them confidence and integrity to do their work.
Dr Eduah observed that it was worrying that after training, many of the artisans failed to take the certificate examination.
He said the foundation had worked to also provide classroom blocks, and other school infrastructure, astro turfs and sanitary facilities across the country.
The Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Freddie Blay, said countries like Japan, Germany, China and Switzerland had used skills development as a critical component for development saying that government's commitment to the development of vocational and technical education was an indication that Ghana was on the right path.
He commended the Aseda Foundation for the collaboration with the GNPC to train the artisans and expressed the hope that the numbers would be scaled up in future.
The Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, urged the graduands to take advantage of technology and social media to improve on the skills they had acquired to enhance their value and relevance.
She also urged them to be proud of their skills and talents and to start small where necessary.
Mrs Assan said the government's commitment to impact people and livelihoods positively was evident in its policies and programmes to promote technical and vocational education.
The Chief Executive Officer of Aseda Foundation urged the graduands not to relent but to determine to change their lives with the skills they had acquired.
The Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, advised the beneficiaries not to sell the startup kits but to use them to better their lives.