The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr John B. Eleeza, has urged health workers to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 prevention and safety protocols not only in their facilities but when they are out of their workplaces.
That is to serve as an example to the general public as the country is experiencing the third wave of the virus.
“Many of you wear your face masks when you are at your workplaces but as soon as you leave to town, you remove them. I see many of you in town either wearing the face masks at the chin level or not at all. So wear the face masks wherever you find yourself as a health worker to build confidence and adherence to the COVID-19 protocols in members of the public,” he said.
Dr Eleeza gave the advice at a symposium and awards ceremony of the Northern zone chapter of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) to mark their week-long celebration in Tamale last Thursday, July 29, 2021.
It was on the theme: “Nurses and Midwives, a voice to lead in a vision for transformed health in post COVID-19 world”.
The northern zone comprises the Northern, Savannah and North East regions.
The Northern Regional Director of the GHS disclosed that the region currently had 11 active COVID-19 cases with two being critical and, therefore, urged residents in the region to comply with the COVID-19 protocols.
They include the wearing of the face masks to enable them to stay safe and prevent infections.
“I just want to urge you to continue to comply with the preventive protocols to protect yourselves, your families and also to set an example for the general public, since many of you go on the local radio and television stations to talk about the need to wear the face masks when in public”, he told the nurses and the midwives.
Dr Eleeza, who was also the special guest of honour at the symposium, said the theme for the celebration was apt as the pandemic had exposed the weakness in the healthcare system across the globe and at the same time offered some opportunities for all health workers to begin to do things differently.
“Doing things differently calls for transformation of our healthcare system in terms of policies, leadership, approaches and actions for all key stakeholders in the health sector”, he stated.
“Transformation of the healthcare system calls for proper diagnosis and education of the staff for effective service delivery,” he added.
Meeting the challenges ahead
A lecturer at the School of Public Health, University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr Yaa Nyarko Agyeman, who was the guest speaker at the symposium, commended nurses and midwives for the sacrifices they made during the outbreak of the pandemic to save lives.
She said it was time to begin to look into the future by bringing about the needed changes in the healthcare system to improve the weaknesses which the pandemic exposed.
To achieve that, she called on the government to consider investing more in the professional development of nurses and midwives to enable them to specialise and meet the challenges of the times.
The Northern Regional Chairman of the GRNMA, Mr Abukari Alhassan, said nurses and midwives formed the backbone of the healthcare delivery system for which reason they must position them in the lead roles to bring the needed transformation in the healthcare system.
He also called for an improvement in the conditions of service of their members as well as their safety at the workplace.
In all, some nurses and midwives who had distinguished themselves during the period under review were presented with citations and other mementos at the ceremony.
Ms Gameti Clothilda Queen from the Gushegu Municipality was adjudged the Regional Best Nurse/Midwife, while Mr Iddrisu Naporow Musah from the Nanumba North Municipality (Bimbilla) and Mr Stephen Akomba from the Saboba District took the First and Second Runners-Up positions respectively.