Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada visits the SickKids-Ghana Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership in Accra, Ghana
On January 6, 2017, ahead of the inauguration ceremony of Nana Akufo-Addo, President-Elect of Ghana, the Honourable Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, visited the SickKids-Ghana Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership at the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives to see how Canada is supporting improved paediatric health service delivery and health outcomes for women and children in Ghana.
The SickKids-Ghana Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership (PNEP), implemented by the Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, with the support of the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health of Ghana, and the Government of Canada, aims to improve access to paediatric nurses and contribute to reducing preventable deaths and improve wellbeing for newborns and children in Ghana by building the capacity of training institutions to scale-up and sustain delivery of paediatric nursing education in underserved regions.
Dr. Jemima Dennis-Antwi, President, and Hannah Acquah, Rector, Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, and Stephanie de Young, Nursing Manager, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, shared an overview of the one-year paediatric nursing program delivered by PNEP with the Honourable Celina Caesar-Chavannes, and Heather Cameron, High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana, and Ministry of Health officials. The group then met the currently enrolled nurses in Accra, who shared some of their new knowledge and skills from the program, and their aspirations for paediatric health care in Ghana.
“I am particularly pleased to have visited the SickKids-Ghana Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership today. This is a good example of a program that will clearly improve the lives of Ghanaian women and children,” said Honourable Celina Caesar-Chavannes.
Around the world, nurses comprise the largest portion of the health workforce. Nurses are critical to ensuring access to quality health-care services and ultimately improving maternal, newborn and child health outcomes. In Canada, there were more than 360,000 registered nurses in 2011, a ratio of approximately 1:100 per population. In Ghana, nurses also make up the largest portion of the health workforce. However, there is still a stark difference in their numbers versus the total country population. The nurse to population ratio in Ghana is approximately 1:1000.
PNEP focuses on supporting the Government of Ghana’s goal to train 1,500 paediatric nurses. This education enables registered general nurses working in clinical areas to expand their paediatric knowledge and skills and their leadership abilities through a one-year training program. The program was launched in May 2016 in Ghana’s capital, Accra, and in October 2016 in Tamale. Plans are underway to launch a third education site in Kumasi in spring 2017.
Expected results of PNEP include:
- Training an additional 500 paediatric nurses by expanding the program to three sites (Accra, Kumasi & Tamale)
- Training 1,000 health workers through continuing education courses
- Developing 25 clinical nurse educators to integrate into the health system
- Establishing a national, standardized paediatric nursing curriculum to achieve scale
- Developing capacity, infrastructure and human capital to ensure sustainability