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article imageGhana gets its first emergency medicine training program

By James Walker     Apr 12, 2015 in Health
In a new initiative seeking to improve healthcare in the country, Ghana has begun its first emergency medicine training program. Nurses are being trained and despatched to regions across the country and new recruits are busily signing up.
50 emergency nursing trainees are expected to complete training by 2016. They will be able to provide support across the country to those who need urgent medical attention. Currently, 35 nurses are trained and working in facilities covering eight different regions of Ghana.
A further 20 emergency medical technicians will be working by 2016 and will have detailed training in care management and patient resuscitation.
The program has come about as the result of a collective effort known as the Medical Education Partnership Initiative, or MEPI. This is a five-year project funded by the US President's Project for Aids and Research and the US National Institutes of Health.
The University of Michigan, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, the National Ambulance Service and the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons have united to make the program possible and improve the level of healthcare available in Ghana.
Past experience from other countries and cities worldwide has shown how effective emergency resuscitation courses can be. Ordinary citizens are also often encouraged to get involved and learn how to resuscitate the people around them should they ever find themselves in an emergency situation. The skills are undoubtedly an invaluable resource to have.
Dr Joseph Akpaloo, chief executive of the Komfo Aonkye Teaching Hospital in the country, told GhanaWeb that the program has already helped to improve the quality of emergency care provided at the hospital. He commended and strongly endorsed the initiative.
Dr Rockefeller Oteng, lead trainer at the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons said that 11 specialists are currently training for a fellowship with the college. 15 medical officers have received one-year training in emergency care while 23 are at various levels of three-year emergency specialists training.
Currently, 15 specialist emergency physicians have been trained by the college and are working in three different regions of the country. The new workers will be an invaluable aid to the country and the developing availability of universal healthcare in the country.
MEPI was started in 2008 with four core components: the training of emergency workers, nurses and medical technicians, care of patients with HIV and AIDS, education and research and the Initiative on Research and Innovation Management.
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