One hundred and thirty, out of over 170 nursing students of the Koforidua Nursing and Midwifery College (NMTC), have benefited from a 10- week basic course in human rights, with the award of certificates.

Train NursesThe course was organized by the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice(CHRAJ), to help curb the occurrence of human rights abuses and other unprofessional conducts within the health sector.

It will also equip trainee nurses with a better understanding of human rights and their relevance to the nursing profession

The course also seeks to improve service delivery by empowering health professionals to promote and protect the rights and freedoms of patients as well as their own rights and freedoms.

Addressing the students at the closing ceremony, Mr Stephen Okpoti Mensah, Eastern Regional Director of CHRAJ, said since the inception of the programme 10 years ago, about 2,622 nursing trainees and 39 tutors from 11 health training institutions had benefited.

He indicated that the health profession had over the years, been overwhelmed with allegations of human rights abuses and unprofessional conducts, which undermined the dignity and well-being of patients.

Mr Mensah said, the health profession was a very noble and compassionate one that required its professionals to demonstrate a great deal of care for patients, which called for sacrifice and a lot of selflessness.

He charged the graduates to make efforts to help change the wrong perception Ghanaians held about the health profession, and urged them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to improve upon the standards in healthcare delivery .

Mr Mawuli Avutor, Principal Head of Public Education, CHRAJ, said the Commission would create a data base to monitor all beneficiaries from time to time, to find out if they were putting the knowledge acquired into practice.

He said the Commission was engaging stakeholders in the health sector with the proposal on the possibility of incorporating the course in the curricula of all health training institutions.

Mrs Susuana Van-Brocke, Programmes Head of the school , thanked the Commission for the course, and indicated that it would go a long way to help the trainees when they went to the field to work.

She entreated all the beneficiaries to show compassion to their clients.

The 10-week course took the students through topics like, fundamental human rights, nurses code of ethics, patients chatter, sexual harassment, patients rights, nursing responsibilities, professional negligence in the nursing profession, domestic violence, rape, stigma and discrimination.

caption A group picture of the participants holding their certificates, with some staff of the College and CHRAJ officials

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