The Ministry of Health (MOH) said, it has learnt with disgust and regret the report in The Ghanaian Times issue of Wednesday, November 14, 2012 and attributed to Dr. Jacob Mahama, Deputy Northern Regional Director in-charge of Public Health, that out of the 240 nurses posted recently to serve their probations at various health facilities across the region, as many as 170 of them were pregnant.

It said, even though the MOH is conscious of the fact that some student nurses are married, it is pertinent to note that this high rate of pregnancy among graduating nursing students is unfortunate and unacceptable since apart from the fact that the probation period is the only time to comprehensively assess their competences and capabilities, one wonders how the good training they were given would reflect in their output under their pregnant conditions.

?The MOH will continue to collaborate with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) and the conference of Heads of Health Training Institutions (COHHETI) to ensure that academic, moral and social discipline is instilled in student nurses and midwives to give themselves good images in the communities they are posted for probation.?

?The MOH wishes to bring to the notice of all student nurses and midwives that when they are due for postings for a year?s probation they should recognize the fact that they are not in permanent employment with any public health facility and therefore cannot request and be granted maternity leave.?

According to a statement from MoH, it wishes to empower Regional and District Directors of Health as well as Principals of Health Training Institutions (HTIs) to strictly enforce all MOH/GHS rules and regulations on academic performance and discipline. Additionally any student nurse who is confirmed pregnant should be asked to go home to deliver the baby before being posted for probation.

?Finally all student nurses should see themselves as future role models and must endeavour to build good images for themselves as they prepare to enter the world of work to render quality health services to the communities where they are eventually posted to?

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