By Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA
Bawku (U/E), Feb. 28, GNA – Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health, has admonished student-nurses at the Bawku Presbyterian Nurses and Midwifery Training College (PNMTC) to desist from using tramadol and concentrate on their studies.
He said the use of tramadol was on high pedestal among the youth, “you see when I mention tramadol the place is quiet, because you have realised it is not good, so why are you doing it,” he said, and added that some trainee nurses consumed cough mixtures containing codeine.
The Minister indicated that as students they were being trained as nurses and midwives, and said some of them would gradually specialise in health promotion to educate members of the public on health issues including; the effects and dangers of substance abuse. “So, if you yourselves are doing it, will we listen to you.”
Mr Agyeman-Manu gave the advice when he interacted with management and students of the college as part of his two-day tour of health facilities and institutions in the Upper East Region to acquit himself with challenges facing staff and their facilities.
The Minister said the risk of contracting non-communicable diseases, especially cancer among people who smoke and ingest excessive alcohol was at 25 percent higher than non-users, adding that addictive substances were poverty traps.
He explained that “When you get hooked onto tramadol for example, even when your allowances come, it will go into buying tramadol. When you get addicted, you cannot stay without it so you better do not go near it at all. I am pleading with you, if you are there already, it is not too late, you can stop it immediately. If you are not there, please do not go there,” he admonished.
Mr Agyeman-Manu urged the students to concentrate on their studies to become good and responsible nurses and midwives. “At your ages there are lots of temptations. If you allow yourself to be taken away by sight attractions you lose focus and you mess up.”
“Life is not like you are writing a homework and when you get wrong, you go and do corrections. If you get it wrong, that is it, you cannot come back to correct yourself. When there is opportunity for you, seize it and work hard and make sure that you go home with some gains,” he said.
Mr Solomon Abugre Halidu, a second-year student of the College, said there were usually false information in the media that nursing trainee allowances were paid, and based on that, their parents would not give them pocket money for school.
He therefore appealed to the Minister to ensure that the allowances came regularly to support in their upkeep.
Mr Samuel Lambon, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Students Representative Council (SRC), explained that their seniors who completed about three years ago were still not employed, and appealed to the Minister to fast track their postings and restore the employment of nurses and midwives after school.
Madam Rhoda Damata Bukari, Acting Principal of the PNMTC, said the total number of students were 313 with staff strength of 15, and added however that the college was confronted with limited accommodation for both students and staff.
She appealed to government to assist the College with infrastructure to enable it admit more midwifery students, adding that “because we do not have accommodation and classrooms, the midwifery programme is just the Post Nurse Assistant Clinical and Post Nurse Assistant Preventive midwifery that we are running.
We cannot run the straight midwifery because they have so many students to take.”