From next month, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (N&MC) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC) will commence the implementation of a conversion programme to upgrade the Nursing Assistive Clinical (NAC) and the Nursing Assistive Personnel (NAP) midwifery programmes from certificate to diploma.
Through this eight-week post NAC/NAP diploma in midwifery, NAC/NAP midwives will have the opportunity to gain academic qualification as well as be registered midwives after successfully taking the necessary course exams.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah, who officially launched the new programme, pointed out that the country needs a lot more professional and skilled midwives to contribute to the reduction of the global maternal mortality ration to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030 and neonatal mortality to 12 per 1000 live births.
“Ghana with a population of over 29 million has a little over 19,000 professional midwives, the number is quite inadequate. It is in this regard that the government has decided to launch this diploma programme to produce more midwives in the country,” she said.
Speaking with the media, Felix Nyante, registrar at N&MC, highlighted that the decision to introduce the new course is in recognition of the midwifery profession as critical to the success of the country’s healthcare delivery system.
Explaining further, he said the programme will address the calibre of midwives who go to school to train for two years but are not given the academic recognition as diploma holders.
“These are people who have done two-year auxiliary training they have gone into the system to practise for three to five years and they have come to do the same midwifery diploma content with the diploma midwives so we discussed this and together with our partners have decided to bridge the gap.
After the top-up, they will sit and pass the university exams beyond that they will again sit for the licensing exams for registered midwives,” he added.
Mr Nyante said for those who have graduated, the UCC has agreed to do a mob-up for them on sandwich basis from seniority, “so the Ghana Health Service will release them as and when it is due and then they go to school for eight weeks to get their academic certificate.”
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri