Some 686 students who completed various academic courses at the University for Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) have graduated during the Sixth Congregation of the University.
The number includes 246 from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, 175 from the School of Allied Health Sciences and 129 from the School of Public Health.
The School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences graduated 43 and the School of medicine produced 94, made up of 53 Bachelors in Medicine and Surgery and 41 in Physician Assistantship (clinical).
Justice Victor Jones Mawulom Dotse, Chairman of Council, extolled the work of the University’s management, which he said, kept the institution on “steady progress” along with its mission and vision.
He said the focus on the nation’s research agenda also remained solid and appealed to the government to deliver the necessary support, including “adequate research funds through national budgetary allocations.”
Professor John Owusu Gyapong, the Vice-Chancellor, stated successes with the University’s Learning Management System, which helped maintain the pace of academic progress through the pandemic, and also reported an increase in student numbers beyond the sixth thousand.
He said inadequate facilities continued to affect student intake, and that the University would ensure the completion of some projects, including hostels.
The Vice-Chancellor, while expressing elation over the commencement of work on the second phase of the physical development of the University- a $68-million undertaking, appealed to the government to hasten the completion of other infrastructure projects such as the central laboratory and various accommodation units.
The Alper-Doger Scientific Index has ranked UHAS the second best University in Ghana and the 36th in Africa while some Faculty members were also ranked high.
Prof. Gyapong asked graduates to top excellence with compassionate care to effectively fit into the wall of universal health coverage.
“I will urge you to go out there and serve with humility,” he said.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, said effective health delivery required quality staff attitude rooted in a passionate commitment to service.
He expressed worry about the persistence of what he called the “misdistribution of health workforce across the country” and appealed to the incoming staff to help address the situation.
“This has been and remains a serious headache to health workforce policy-makers and implementers. Though the doctor-to-population ratio has been improving steadily over the past years, it continues to remain unacceptably high in some areas in Ghana.
“Overall, the crude equity index shows that in aggregate, the best-staffed region is 2.17 times better off than the worst-staffed region. My humble appeal to you all is this, “you can make a difference in these indicators. The choices you make soon can be the catalyst we need to achieve our collective goal of Universal Health Coverage,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye stated.
The Director-General said the Health Service had put in place structures to help identify and resource underserved areas, saying attractive motivation packages for staff serving in such areas were guaranteed.
He said key health indicators continued to improve despite the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that it reflected the resilience of the health system and the commitment of staff.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye, therefore, appealed to the nation to maintain faith in the health infrastructure and support the vaccination drive towards establishing an effective barrier against the coronavirus disease.
Elizabeth Naa Abaina Morton, who graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, received nine academic awards, including the Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Overall Graduating Student.