Kumasi, Sept 30, GNA – The Government must commit more resources to support the local training of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists to address the about 90 per cent shortfall of experts needed for optimal health care delivery.
Doctors working in the districts must also be given sponsorship packages Professor Emmanuel D. Kitcher, Consultant ENT Specialist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), said the current number was 30 instead of the 300 required to cover all the regions and districts.
Prof Kitcher, was making a presentation at the third Annual General and Scientific Meeting of the Otorhinolaryngology Society of Ghana (ORLSOG), held at Kumasi at the weekend, on the theme: “Ten years of Postgraduate ENT Training in Ghana: The journey so far and the future.”
He said the ENT discipline, which dealt with the body’s three sensory organs, covered a wide spectrum of disease conditions making up 30 to 40 per cent of daily clinical cases seen by physicians, which needed to be referred to ENT specialists for effective treatment.
The meeting brought together surgeons, audiologists, nurses, pharmacists and other staff working in the ENT segment.
Prof Kitcher said disease conditions such as allergies, colds, sore throats, infections relating to the ear, nose and throat, hearing problems and those that had to do with body balance were some of the cases that must be seen and treated by ENT specialists.
“As a stop gap measure, clinicians are made to go through periodic training to be able to diagnose and refer such cases to specialists for effective treatment,” he said.
He said since the programme started 10 years ago, 14 specialists had been trained and accepted into the West African College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Prof Kitcher said it was refreshing that the local training had increased access for doctors into postgraduate training and their retention.