A meeting was held on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for the leadership of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana (N&MC) to strategise towards combating the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
The meeting, which was convened by the Governing Board of the N&MC, was to encourage nurses and midwives, who form about 70% of Ghana’s health workforce, as they brave the odds to confront the Coronavirus pandemic.
The event was attended by the three principal officers of The Church of Pentecost namely, Apostle Eric Nyamekye (Chairman), Apostle Alexander Nana Yaw Kumi-Larbi (General Secretary) and Apostle Emmanuel Gyesi-Addo (International Missions Director). Also present was the Deputy Health Minister, Hon. Alex Kodwo Abban.
Addressing the health workers on the topic: “What To Do & What Not To Do In Times Like These As Frontliners,” Apostle Nyamekye said that the rate of the spread of COVID-19 is a cause for concern for all, especially for health officials who are the frontliners.
“This is perhaps the greatest medical challenge of our lifetime, and in critical times like these our hope comes from above,” he said.
Referring to the story of Gideon in Judges chapter 6, the Chairman explained how the Israelites in some time past were handed over to the Midianites by the Lord due to their disobedience. The Israelites, therefore, hid in caves because of their fear of the Midianites. After several years of oppression, the people of Israel cried unto the Lord and He decided to go to their rescue through a young man called Gideon.
Apostle Nyamekye called on health professionals to glean some lessons from what ensued when Gideon received an angelic visitation.
According to him, in such devastating times, some people cannot help but question the existence of God and whether He is still with them.
“Like Gideon, they ask themselves, ‘If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?’ This is because we know that nothing takes place without His permission,” he said.
He pointed out that when the angel urged Gideon to advance and lead the Israelites to battle against the Midianites, he hesitated because he felt inadequate being the least in a family that belonged to the weakest clan of Manasseh.
The Chairman, therefore, advised that as frontliners, health workers should desist from complaining about the inadequate resources they may have and rather focus on doing the best with the little they have, trusting that the Lord will go with them and supply their needs.
“Let us stop complaining about what we do not have and focus on what we have. Those who complain never get anything done. Instead, let us go in the little strength we have, and the Lord will back us with His strength,” he charged.
Touching on what to do as frontliners, the Chairman advised health professionals to adopt the strategy of Joab when the Israelites went up against the Arameans and the Ammonites in battle (2 Samuel 10:9-13).
He explained that when Joab, the commander of the Israeli troops, realised that the battle lines had been drawn before and behind them, and they were faced with the Arameans and the Ammonites on each side of the battle, he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans, whilst he put the rest under the command of his brother, Abishai, and deployed them against the Ammonites.
“Joab then said to Abishai that, ‘If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you are to come to my rescue; but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, then I will come to rescue you. Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight,’” he stated.
Apostle Nyamekye urged the health workers to employ the same tactic by collaborating and standing bravely together in the fight against the pandemic.
He, therefore, called on all health professionals to gird their loins and be prepared to provide the needed medical support whenever they are called upon.
He assured them that although they may be at the frontlines, the church is solidly backing them in prayers.
“We are in difficult times. This is not the time to sit in the office, but a time to be on the field. Let us stand strong and rally behind the Ghana flag and fight. Let us do our very best and the God of this country will prove Himself mighty; then the whole world will know that He is indeed alive,” he said.
Apostle Eric Nyamekye also admonished church leaders to support the efforts of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “This is not the time for soliciting for offerings and monies. This is not the time to think church; it is a time to think nations. The relevance of the church is how it impacts the nations.”
The Chairperson of the N&MC, Rev. Veronica Mina Darko, on her part, said that in the wake of the global pandemic, nurses and midwives across the country must demonstrate a sense of duty and a high standard of practice. She said that the Council is ready to provide them with the necessary support and logistics they would need in combating the deadly virus.
She also called on Ghanaians, especially Christians, to take part in the National Day of Fasting and Prayer as declared by the President to seek the face of the Lord.
Hon. Alex Abban also expressed the ministry’s commitment towards ending the spread of the virus and called on all and sundry to support efforts of the government.
The strategic meeting ended with a prayer for all health professionals and a clarion call on both active and retired health workers to come on board to offer voluntary services to help curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Present at the meeting were Mr Felix Nyante (Registrar, N&MC), Mrs Eva Mensah (Nursing and Midwifery Section, GHS), Janet Ampadu-Fofie (Chairperson, Public Services Commission), Prof. Lydia Aziato (Dean, School of Nursing & Midwifery – UG),
Among the participants were representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, Ho Teaching Hospital, 37 Military Hospital, Police Hospital, University of Ghana Medical Centre, and University of Ghana School of Midwifery.