The Paramedics and Emergency Care Training School (PECTS) at Nkenkaaso in the Offinso North District is struggling with huge infrastructural challenges.
The school, established by the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in 2013, was started in structures left behind at a project site by the contractors who reconstructed the Abofour-Techiman stretch of Kumasi-Techiman highway.
It happens to be the first national training centre for emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
Unfortunately, there has not been a single addition to the structures or upgrade of facilities over the period. The structures left behind by the contractors are still the ones being used to train the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
It should not be lost on anybody that those structures had not been designed for medical training purposes – something unhelpful to quality teaching and learning in the school, which has been charged to provide technical skills and competencies to people involved in pre-hospital care for the sick and injured.
People’s lives, we need to all acknowledge depend on quick reaction and competent care by the EMTs and paramedics.
Poor training resulting from the lack of vital infrastructure – well-equipped and functioning classrooms, laboratories, demonstration rooms and others, should therefore, be of serious concern to everybody.
It is refreshing that these concerns are being raised and articulated by the chiefs and people of the Offinso traditional area, where the school is sited.
Their call to the NAS and the government to move quickly to expand the infrastructure and upgrade the school, “to befit its status as the only centre in the West Africa sub-region to offer emergency training” is timely.
Nana Wiafe Akenten II, Omanhene of Offinso, in an address read for him at the passing-out parade of the second batch of Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians recently, pointed out that the school was “very strategic”, playing critical role in the capacity-building effort of the NAS and this was why it was deserving of priority attention.
As he indicated, a well-developed emergency medical service system would go a long way to save lives and there could not be any better way to do this than to have a well-equipped training school to build the capacity of the emergency care providers.
The school should be seen as a national strategic asset, adding up to the existing health and medical training facilities.
Its products – the first line of life savers, must be exposed to the requisite skills and expertise to provide professional service to people in need of emergency care across the nation.
It is for this reason that all Ghanaians must support the clarion call by the chiefs and people of Offinso for the provision of adequate infrastructure not only to improve on teaching and learning but provide space for increased enrolment to create the opportunity for many to receive training on emergency life-saving skills to give help to victims in times of emergency and disaster.