GVSU Nursing Students Arrive in UCC for Study Abroad Programme

The School of Nursing and Midwifery is hosting the sixth batch of Nursing students from Grand Valley State University (GVSU), United States of America (US) for the 2018 study abroad programme in Ghana.

Twenty two students and three faculty members are participating in a two-week Community Health Nursing programme in some communities and health facilities in the Central Region.

Speaking at a ceremony to welcome the team, the Vice Dean of the School of Nursing, Dr. Samuel Victor Nuvor, on behalf of the Provost of the College of Health and Allied Sciences (CoHAS), Prof.  Johnson Nyarko Boampong, said he was optimistic that by the end of the programme, the students would be able to compare the health system of Ghana to that of the US.  He also said they would be able to specifically compare acute care settings in the two countries.

Prof. Boampong further noted that the programme would help them to appreciate Community Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) concept in Ghana; the role of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in improving maternal health or ensuring the safety of women during pregnancy delivery and the period after delivery. “You will understand reproductive and child health care activities like family planning, immunization, child welfare clinics and breast feeding as well as the management of cold chain system for vaccines, nutritional rehabilitation, counselling  at sexually transmitted infections (STI) units.

The Provost of CoHAS was confident that the programme would provide both faculty and students of both institutions the opportunity to have fruitful discussions and to consolidate bonds of friendship adding that “It will enable faculty from both universities explore ways of strengthening the relationship perhaps, through research collaboration and faculty exchange”.

Giving a background of the programme, the Coordinator of Department of Public Health, Mrs. Patience Doe, explained that the UCC-GVSU collaboration was an initiative between the Department of Public Health of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, UCC and Public Health Nursing, GVSU. She said the study abroad programme started in 2013 with the objective of establishing and improving links and partnership with local and international collaborators in the area of Public Health. 

The Dean of the Centre for International Education (CIE), Prof. Rosemond Boohene in a presentation said the UCC had made conscious efforts to vigorously pursue its internationalization agenda.   She noted the world has now become a global village and, therefore, there was the need to collaborate in order to share knowledge and best practices. She advised faculty and students not to only concentrate on learning alone saying “Internationalisation is not only about learning but network.  I encourage you to build networks because you don’t know when you will need each other. Some of you can become president, minister or prominent personality in your respective countries so you need to establish that relationship at this point.”

 Making a presentation on   “Overview of the Ghana Health Systems, Focus on Types of Facilities and Role of the Nurse,” the Head of Research Unit at the Central Regional Health Directorate, Mr. Emmanuel Edum-Fotwe, said the Ghana Health Service was established in 2006 as the supervisory body of health institutions of Ghana whilst the Nursing and Midwifery Council was in charge of the licensing of nurses in the country. He also touched on the role nurses play at health facilities, teaching hospitals, regional, district and polyclinics as well as in CHPS compound in the rural communities.

Some of the activities for the two-week study abroad programme are “observational visit to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital and Ankaful Psychiatric Hospital, post conference analysis of each day’s programme and Community Outreach with UCC Nursing Students Association (NUSA) at Ahotokrom in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Municipal Assembly (KEEA). Others include field replacement and rotation at urban/peri-urban health centres, cultural event at the Department of Music and Dance Laboratory, field trip to Cape Coast Castle, Hans Cottage, Kakum Rain Forest and Monkey Sanctuary.

Present at the function were some lecturers of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, the president and other executives of NUSA.