Eighteen students of the Ensign College of Public Health at Kpong in the Eastern Region were conferred with Master of Public Health degree at the College’s 5th congregation.

The graduands including nine males and nine females have successfully completed two years’ studies in public health management.

The ceremony, which took place at the school’s auditorium over the weekend saw the congregation of various dignitaries including Vice Board Chair, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa; Provost, College Of Health Sciences, Prof Christian Agyare who represented the Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Patrick Kuma, Academic Registrar and Human Resource Manager.

There were also virtual addresses by the founder and Board Chair, Dr Lynette Gay and President of the College, Professor Stephen C. Alder.

Prof Christian Agyare conferred the Master of Public Health degree on the students.

The students as part of the ceremony were also administered with the Oath of Public Health and the Alumni Oath and were also hooded and presented with scrolls.

Special Guest of Honour at the event and Managing Director of the Nyaho Medical Center, Dr Elikem Tamakloe said the events of 2020 with the global Covid-19 pandemic sweeping through the world should serve as a wake-up call of the ever-increasing complexity and interconnectedness of the rapidly changing world.

“Now more than ever, the call for ethical globally-minded considerate members who are impacting their communities by serving the vulnerable and the empowered alike grows louder as the fractures that have embedded our health systems are exposed and stressed often to the detriment of the beneficiaries the system was built to serve.”

He challenged the graduates to live up to the high standards and demands of their profession by serving as answers to the many visible inequalities in healthcare delivery in various societies.

He said the world needs courageous leaders who will step up and serve their communities.

“As I look across this auditorium, I see problem solvers, change agents, system builders, advisors, influencers, decision-makers, giants who have been stirred over the course of the last two years of this programme to break through the barriers and obstacles that exist in any developing society as it aspires to correct the injustices of the past and offer each citizen the right to good health and well-living, the right to work and be productive and the right to offer future generations a legacy to build upon.”

President of the College, Professor Stephen C. Alder while noting that the practice and science of public health depended on the ability of health practitioners to achieve their potentials said the SARS-CoV-2 being faced by practitioners of public health could serve as agents of encouragement.

“Could it be that as members of this great ensign college of public health family we can be agents of peace and unity as we encourage those within our spheres of influence to work together for the common good of eradicating Covid-19.”

He added, “We had no way of knowing that with almost no notice, we would be asked to close our campus in the support of the national effort to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2…that over a period of time, we would need to shift our entire curriculum to be delivered online…that so many of our ensign family who were already sacrificing to support this institution would be asked to do more.”

He charged the graduating students to embrace challenges and to “recognise that challenges are opportunities to find the greatness within us and to use that greatness to make the world a better, more peaceful and more prosperous place.”

He also challenged the graduates to embark on the never ending pursuit of boldly facing all challenges that stand in the way of health and prosperity.

“How do we stop the worldwide effects of diseases like malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis…create the conditions that allow safety in workplaces…fewer traffic-related injuries and homes free of hazards…that physical activity and healthy eating continue…support mothers during pregnancy and children during the vulnerable five years of life?”

He further challenged the graduates to use the knowledge acquired at the prestigious institution to change the world for good.

Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa in an interview eulogized the students for their relentless efforts at identifying critical challenges in specific areas of society and offering the appropriate solutions to them.

“The students themselves go into various aspects of the community with various theses and do community diagnosis and do community support and community management,” said the professor.

The Vice Board Chair said the college has fostered a healthy relationship with the local communities through its chiefs, religious bodies and political bodies, adding that the school played a critical role in sensitizing and supporting the community with PPE during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deserving students who excelled in various categories were presented with plaques.

They included Abigail Lardjer Marnarh for Community Service Award, Henry Okorie Ugorji for the SpringTide Scholarship, Best Thesis Award Rebecca Tricia Morrison and the Overall Best Student, Rebecca Tricia Morrison.

There were goodwill messages from the alumni of the college, University of Utah, National Accreditation Board, Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa and Prof Christian Agyare.

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