The University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences (UCCSMS) has hosted and won the Eighth Inter-Medical Schools Public Speaking Competition.
The theme for the Eighth Competition was “Child Sexual Abuse in Ghana: The Extent of the Problem, Consequence and Proposed Solutions”.
Medical Schools from UCC, University of Ghana (UG), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and University for Development Studies (UDS) participated in the competition which was held at Auditorium 900, C. A. Ackah Lecture Theatre (CALT).
The competition is aimed at encouraging medical students to develop interest in Psychiatry as their field of specialty.
Presentation by UCCSM Representatives
They, therefore, proposed to the Mental Health Authority to establish what they termed as “Obaatanpa Integrated Care Centre” to provide multidisciplinary approach towards the rehabilitation and seeking justice for the victim.
They explained that “The Centre will have a Medical Department to examine and attend to the health needs of the victim; a Psychosocial Department to offer counselling services; Legal and Police component to handle prosecution of perpetrators and Media office to educate people to refrain from the act.
UCCSMS Stands Tall among Competing Medical Schools
Prof. Ampiah said he was touched by UCCSMS contestants’ solution to address child sexual abuse, indicating that “Their solution of care at one place really touched my heart so I think we need to think carefully about the Obaatanpa Integrated Integrated Care”
The Vice-Chancellor urged the medical students to take interest in building a career in Psychiatry. He said that UCC through the School of Medical Sciences would continue to champion Mental Health by putting on a blue ribbon as proposed by the debate team.
A representative of the Mental Health Authority, Ghana, Dr. Kojo Obeng, said the authority has an obligation under law to attract people into the field of Mental Health but added that the challenge was the interest of the medical doctors. “We have a large number of nurses into mental health but it’s difficult to get people who spend six to seven years of their lives with the passion of their entire family backing them to ignore other fields of Medicine to study Psychiatry.”
Dr. Obeng noted that for the past eight years, since this programme started running, there has been a reverse in this trend. “Year after year you see young Medical students come to this programme and speak passionately about mental health issues” he noted. He was hopeful that most of the medical students who have been attending the programme have made a decision to be Psychiatrists. “The number of Psychiatrists in this country is abysmal and most of you are going to fill this void and this will make a dramatic difference in the quality of care given to the most vulnerable in our society,” he added.
Present at the function was the Vice Dean, UCCSMS, Dr. Samuel Acquah, Coordinator of UCCSMS Public Speaking Competition, Mr. Christian Ackom and some heads of department of UCCSMS and lecturers and students from the competing Universities.