SickKids-Ghana Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership extended to support Ghana’s COVID-19 response
The Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and its health system partners in Ghana are improving access to quality health care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with additional financial support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.
The funding is an extension to the SickKids-Ghana Paediatric Nursing Education Partnership (PNEP), a program implemented by SickKids together with the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Ministry of Health. The COVID-19 response amendment will focus on strengthening health workers’ preparedness, increasing knowledge and addressing misinformation through community engagement, and promoting best practices related to COVID-19 across Ghana.
“As a global leader in children’s health, we are well equipped to train health professionals and help strengthen Ghana’s health system capacity along with our trusted partners,” says Dr. Stanley Zlotkin, Chief, Centre for Global Child Health, SickKids. “Canada has been a leader in supporting women’s and children’s health around the world, and we commend the Government of Canada for supporting these critical global efforts.”
The COVID-19 response activities will target the specific needs in Ghana and will be led through the local partners with SickKids acting as a technical partner providing remote/virtual support.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the critical need for more and better trained health professionals in frontline care delivery to reduce preventable mortality and improve wellbeing for children and their families,” says Hannah Acquah, Rector/President, Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives. “Our strong working relationships in PNEP will be a key factor in ensuring that activities in this COVID-19 response will be rapidly mobilized.”
The program will use multiple approaches to enhance access to quality health care in the context of COVID-19, including:
- Training 10,000 health workers across Ghana in all levels of the health system through a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course on COVID-19.
- Strengthening COVID-19 related content in all specialist programs for 800 students at the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives to expand knowledge and skills in delivering health care during the pandemic.
- Procuring PPE to ensure that onsite clinical education for nursing and midwifery students of the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives can be safely maintained.
- Developing and implementing public health outreach and community engagement activities that address misinformation related to COVID-19 and promote positive behaviour change, with a specific focus on pregnant women and young girls.
“Nurses and midwives are on the frontlines managing COVID-19, working with underserved communities and vulnerable populations. Investment to strengthen the health workforce and health system infrastructure is needed to improve the quality of care, reduce mortality and enhance well-being,” says Pam Hubley, Chief, International Nursing at SickKids. “This work will also support gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by developing and investing in nurses – the vast majority of whom are women – to empower them economically and as community leaders.”