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Tamale Medical Students Spend Billions for Clinicals in Accra and Kumasi

2005-11-22 12:19:57
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The Medical Students of the University for Development Studies (UDS) in the Northern Region, have strongly demonstrated their discontentment against the government for not showing concern about the current unprofessional system the school is operating on.
According to them, it was inconceivable that after 10 years of the establishment of the UDS Medical School, clinical studies could not be pursued in the North, forcing the school authorities to transfer them to the Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals (for their clinical studies).

Speaking at the launch of the premier Health Week Celebration of the UDS branch of the Medical Students Association (MSA) here in Tamale, the President of the MSA, Mr. Nontera A. Engel Bert, attributed their adversity to the government's inability to undertake immediate expansion works promised the Tamale Regional Hospital to merit its acclaimed status as a Teaching Hospital.

It was established that the UDS authorities were battling with frustrations the students encounter on practical fields and spent billions annually in transferring its Medical Students to the south for their clinical studies.

The future medics entreated the government to, as a matter of urgency, address the problems facing the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which was supposed to be associated with the UDS to create an enabling environment for the training of medical personnel.

The celebration was under the theme, "Malaria Prevention in the Northern Ghana-a Boost to the Sustenance of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)".

However, the association disclosed that through the week celebration, they would actively add their voice to the roll back message currently being preached by the National Malaria Control Programme of the Ghana Health Service, since the transmission of malaria was an attitudinal and environmental one.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Dr. Daniel Tapan explained that a Teaching Hospital was a medical institution allied to a university, whose role was to create the environment for the training of medical personnel-Doctors, Paramedics, Nurses, Laboratory Technologists and also responsible for post-graduate training housemanships, interns and in some cases, specialist-training as well as undertaking research.

Dr. Tapan regretted that the situation was vice versa in the north, which had made the indicators of quality of health care like infant mortality rate and maternal mortality very poor.

This, according to him, was because of inadequate health facilities, health personnel and the peculiarities of the north, namely, large landmass, poor road network, poor sanitation especially in Tamale and communal strife and disturbances.

The doctor, who blamed the traditional and opinion leaders, civil society and political leaders for not living up to expectation, observed that the Tamale Teaching Hospital, with the setting up of the UDS Medical School in the 1990s, was supposed to have made great strides in producing medical personnel. He therefore encouraged the leaders to adopt the culture of lobbying to change the face of the hospital and the UDS medical school, since the matter of setting up a Medical School and Teaching Hospital was not a technical one, but purely political.

Dr. Daniel Tapan however called on the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to strengthen their existing cooperation to boost the provision of tertiary health services.

The Head of the Economic Extension Department of UDS, Alhaji Gilbert Idi, lectured the students on how one could attract malaria, its related diseases and how to prevent them.

Alhaji Idi, who is also the Former Northern Regional Minister, however commended the government on the NHIS initiative, but asked the implementers or NPP government to learn to make haste slowly, since some developed countries including America had failed in their bid for National Health Insurance.

The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mohammed Adam Amin-Anta graced the ceremony and advised the students to intensify their advocacy programme, not only for malaria eradication but also for better facilities for the UDS and the Tamale Teaching Hospital.

source: chronicle

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