The Presbyterian Church of Ghana has announced its preparedness to convert all vocational training centres in the country to health training institutions to train more health professionals.
This has become necessary due to the high demand for health professionals in the country as against vocational training which in recent years has lost its value.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Right Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, said this at the opening of the 14th general assembly of the Church at Abetifi in the Kwahu West District of Eastern Region.
The General Assembly, which is the highest decision making body of the Church, attracted about 600 commissioners and corresponding members from all the 19 Presbyteries, including the newly inaugurated overseas Presbytery and partners from local and foreign to draw a missionary agenda for the new ecclesiastical year.
The Moderator said following the trends in the country, it had become necessary to re-look at the post basic vocational training which in the past had been serving a useful purpose in training girls and young women with some skills.
He said the number of girls enrolled in these training centres had been shrinking years after years, showing that kind of training was no more attractive to young women to the extent that in some vocational training centres staff members are more than the students.
The Moderator said since health training was more promising for young women with the basic qualification, the Church had instructed the health unit to put in place to convert all the vocational training centres into health training institutions.
Rev Prof Martey said the Church had handed over the Duayaw-Nkwanta Girls? Vocational Institute to the Health Unit to convert it to a health training institute.
He said the facility would start with a Post Basic Midwifery programme and later upgrade it to a Diploma.
?Training of midwives is a priority to the Ministry of Health as a strategy to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality rate in the country? he said.
The Moderator also announced that Begoro Girls Vocational Institute in Fanteakwa District of Eastern Region and Lartebiokoshie in the Greater Accra Region would also follow suit after the project at Duayaw-Nkwanta had taken off.
The Moderator also reiterated the church?s commitment to quality health care delivery in the country to ensure productivity.
He said it was in this direction that the Church had extended quality health care delivery to almost every corner of the country, adding that it would continue to provide both logistical and infrastructural support to its health facilities across the country.
According to the Moderator the Church had opened a new clinic at Abasua in the Ashanti Region to take care of the ever increasing population in the area that had to walk a long distance to access health care.
He said the church renovated a rented building with financial support of GHC10, 000.00 from the General Assembly Office, provision of access road, furniture and extension of electricity to the facility with Agogo Hospital, which is providing supervisory role provided beds, mattresses and basic equipment such as blood pressure apparatus and weighing scale.
To continue enhancing education delivery in the country the Moderator said the Education Department of the Church had put plans in place to ensure that at least every region in the country would have one senior high school.
He said presently there are three geographical regions in the country without a Presbyterian Senior High School.
The regions include Western, Volta and Upper West. This is to ensure that education is placed at the door step of every Ghanaian everywhere.
The Moderator also announced that the Church was going to institute an award scheme for all categories of teachers at every level including the best chaplain, best head and best teacher.
The Eastern Regional Minister who was the guest of honour commended the Presbyterian Church on its contributions to socio-economic development to the country since its establishment in 1828.
He said the health sector cannot be left out. The PCG is providing quality healthcare across the country, notably through the Donkorkrom Hospital, Agogo Hospital, Bawku Hospital, Dormar Ahenkro Hospital and many more health centres and clinics.
He said without doubt, the government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of developing the nation and therefore encouraged the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the entire Christian community and indeed other faith-based organizations, to continue partnering the Government in its development efforts.
?Ghana needs mutual respect, collaboration, co-operation and concerted effort by all stakeholders in the quest to develop our dear nation? he maintained.
The regional minister said government would continue to provide the enabling environment to sustain such fruitful partnership.