Ghana's Health Schools Assessed for Preservice Education Improvements

On a recent visit to Ghana, CapacityPlus staff Paul Marsden and consultant Anne Wilson found that preservice education programs are now enrolling the highest number of students in history, with some institutions operating at full intake capacity.

Maternity ward staffDuring the first two weeks in October, Marsden and Wilson assessed the country’s health workforce preservice education system. They met with government agencies, preservice providers, bilateral USAID partners, and other interested stakeholders—in particular the principal medical schools and main teaching hospitals—to reflect on how better to structure preservice training of medical providers to form a more competent, productive health workforce in Ghana.

Key activities included identification of the main successes, current gaps, and impediments to skill development during preservice training, and the work done to date on health worker deployment. Marsden and Wilson found that there is a need for strengthening integrated planning, coordination, and implementation across agencies and partners.

Going forward, priority areas for further improvement will include strengthening faculty expertise, increasing rigorous hands-on experience for enrolled students—which better exposes and prepares them for rural deployment, and strengthening decentralized human resources mangement systems.


Photo by Paul Marsden. (Staff in the maternity ward at Reach Hospital in Accra)