Change in disease patterns require more specialized nurses and midwives – Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah says, Ghana’s disease pattern is gradually moving from a largely communicable to predominantly non-communicable disease burden with attendant need for specialized care. “With increasing life expectancy, the challenges of degenerative diseases are becoming more prominent and this calls for specialized nurses and midwives who will not only manage such diseases but also help transform societal behaviour to adopt healthier lifestyles” he added.

The Health Minister said this at the Inaugural, Induction and Matriculation Ceremony of the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives (GCNM) in Accra. GCNM is a new statutory Professional Academic College established to promote specialist education, continuous professional development and postgraduate nursing, midwifery and related programmes and contribute to the formulation of policies to improve health outcomes.

Dr. Agyeman-Mensah said it is the responsibility of the nation to ensure that, to build the capacity of its nurses and midwives, so as to be well placed to attend to the individual and community’s total health needs and promote healthy life styles. He therefore welcomed the establishment of GCNM and challenged the College to produce specialist nurses and midwives who will take a global and systems-level approach to improving patient outcome. He gave the Ministry’s assurance to ensure that the appropriate recognition and incentives are given to products of the College.

Delivering the Inaugural Speech, an Associate Professor of Nutrition at the University of Ghana, Prof. Matilda Steiner-Asiedu said the non-availability of more specialized nurses

and midwives, makes it difficult for Ghanaians to access quality healthcare. She said, the diverse symptoms of diseases worldwide require nurses and midwives who have upgraded themselves in specific fields of managing diseases. Prof. Steiner-Asiedu urged the management of GCNM to be abreast of current literature on nursing and midwifery and collaborate with other institutions to facilitate effective teaching and learning at GCNM.
The President of GCNM, Dr. Jemima Dennis-Antwi, on assignment of chain of office to lead the academic programmes, stated that, the curricula for the various programmes will accord residents of the College, the unique opportunity to develop the theoretical and practical acumen needed to be effective and efficient clinicians, academicians, preceptors, researchers, leaders, projects and programme managers as well as successful entrepreneurs capable of private practice. She urged all nurses and midwives to take advantage of this specialized training the College is offering.
The College is currently running six programmes under the Nursing Division (Neuroscience, Paediatric, Accidents and Emergency, Palliative, Oncology and Haematology) and two programmes under the Midwifery Division (Neonatal Intensive Care and Women’s Health). Three hundred and thirty Foundation Fellows of the College were inducted whilst 36 Nurses and Midwives were admitted into various residency programmes of the College. The College’s website ( was also launched.

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