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Health Ministry launches mentorship policy for nurses, midwives

BY: Doreen Andoh
Prof. Sheila Tlou, a former Botswanan Minister of Health, displaying the policy document at the launch
Prof. Sheila Tlou, a former Botswanan Minister of Health, displaying the policy document at the launch

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched policy guidelines for the mentoring of nurses and midwives to enhance healthcare delivery in the country.

Known as the national policy guidelines for nursing and midwifery professional mentorship programme, the policy is expected to create a culture that embraces mentorship as an effective way to develop a career pathway for nurses and midwives, guide nurses and midwives in their professional, personal and interpersonal growth and also promote the integration of theory and practice.

It will further introduce nurses and midwives to more professional opportunities for career progression and development.

The development of the policy and guidelines was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Present at the launch were representatives of stakeholder institutions, such as public and private health facilities, nursing and midwifery training institutions and development partners.

Significance

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said considering the dynamic nature of nursing and midwifery practice, there was the need to continue mentoring practitioners on the dynamics of the job to enhance healthcare delivery.

According to him, nurses and midwives constituted 58 per cent of health workers in the country, but over the years the negative attitude and behaviour of some of them in training and service had affected the image of the profession.

He, therefore, commended the MoH and partners for including mentorship in the practice and training of nurses and midwives in the document.

Professional development

A former Minister of Health of Botswana, Professor Sheila Tlou, who launched the policy, underscored the need for nurses and midwives to pursue professional development.

A renowned nurse herself, she called on health professionals to take up leadership roles in politics to help push decisions that would enhance nursing and midwifery practice and training.

Best practice

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said recent research showed that the best managed organisations had a diverse mix of talented employees.

“With this in mind, the MoH believes it is vital to retain and continue to facilitate the growth of our professionals, including nurses and midwives, by augmenting the existing tools and skills they have in order for them to continue to be successful to provide quality nursing and midwifery services in the country and beyond,” he said.

He also said mentoring programmes offered the means to enhance performance and engagement, promote learning opportunities and encourage multi-disciplinary collaborations.

“Mentorship has been considered an essential step in professional and personal development, particularly in the field of health care. With the current government objective of increasing health and social care services, there is the urgent need for mentors and preceptors to support the development of student nurses and midwives, as well as health professionals, to achieve universal health coverage.

“The country’s quest and road map to accelerate the achievement of UHC must be driven by strong, highly skilled and competent health professionals through such mentorship programmes,” he added.

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