The Minister of Energy, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, says the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) is fast becoming a truly recognised brand in health science education.
He said the vision of the institution, located at Sokode in the Volta Region, to be a “pre-eminent research and practically oriented health educational institution dedicated to community services”, was a worthy one.
The minister said the school’s vision, when pursued diligently, would result in the application of the acquired knowledge relevant to needs and aspirations of Ghanaians, and also contribute towards health sustainability.
He made the observation at the university’s fifth congregation in Ho where students were awarded degrees for various academic programmes.
The minister, however, cautioned that the university should not be limited to a regional society.
“A national university must have faculty and students from all parts of Ghana, and there should be no discrimination in the recruitment of faculty, students or management. This onerous responsibility of a national university must not be lost on UHAS, or a failure will lead to other parts of Ghana wanting same and neglecting products of this university.
“You must aim to help build a more inclusive society rather than contribute, even if unintentionally, to the perpetuation of divisions which have led us nowhere,” he added.
In all, 541 students graduated mainly from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Sciences, with 24 students receiving master’s degrees.
The Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the university, Professor John Gyapong, expressed confidence that the rigorous training received by the students at the institution would sufficiently prepare and equip them with the necessary skills to overcome hurdles they might encounter in their chosen fields.
He urged students to maintain their affiliation with the institution by taking advantage of the numerous education and job opportunities available.
He further explained that "maintaining these bonds will enable you to contribute your quota to UHAS, your alma mater. I charge you to demonstrate the values and ethos of excellence, integrity, innovation, service and care, which we have done our best to instil in you as you continue on your separate paths to success."
Prof. Gyapong said the university, which only started operations in 2012, was proud of several feats, including the setting up of a COVID-19 testing centre, in collaboration with the Ho Teaching Hospital, in response to the pandemic.
He said the university was gearing up to commence study programmes, including Dentistry, Orthotics and Prosthetics, and other graduate programmes in Nursing and Biomedical Sciences, while infrastructure such as new halls of residence were ready to be inaugurated in order to offer some reprieve to accommodation challenges on campus.
He said a research group at the university had also documented medical terminologies in the Sideme and Tegbor dialects to ease communication between healthcare providers and patients in the Avatime and Tafi traditional areas of the Volta Region.
The University’s Council Chairman, Justice Victor J.M. Dotse, appealed to government, through the Ministry of Roads and Highways, to solve challenges of accessibility and poor infrastructure by fulfiling a promise to construct the Sokode-Etoe-UHAS-Titrinu road and the school’s 5.3-kilometre internal roads.
He also appealed to the energy minister to help light the streets of the campus to improve security at the school.
The university conferred an honorary doctorate degree on the Presidential Coordinator of Government’s COVID-19 Response and a former Deputy Director of the World Health Organisation, Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, for his global impact on sound health policies, among others.
He later urged the graduates to cultivate the spirit of humility in the service to the society in their chosen careers.
The institute also paid tribute to its founding Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fred Binka, and founding Council Chairman, Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, for their roles in the advancement of the university.
Some 15 graduates received various awards of distinction.
The ceremony was also graced by the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa; the Chief of Sokode Traditional Area, Togbe Fia Korku III; Dutor of Sokode, Torgbui Amoaku Dzafe; other traditional heads of the area, among other dignitaries.
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