By Samuel Akumatey
Ho, Aug. 14, GNA – Mama Attrato II, Ho Dome Queenmother, has called on young women to be inspired by the rise of Professor Lydia Aziato, a nurse, who had crossed the academic terrains to become the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).
Prof. Aziato, a native of the Volta region, is the first nurse to become a professor in Ghana, and the first nurse to head a university in West Africa.
Consequently, Mama Attrato had led queens from the region to celebrate Prof Aziato at her investiture held in Ho.
While adorning her in royal beads of bravery and achievement, Mama Attrato said the new Vice-Chancellor was a towering icon of excellence for women, especially in the region and elsewhere, and an inspiration for the self-advancement for the youth.
Mama Attrato, who spoke on behalf of the queens assured the new VC of the support of female traditional leaders in the region.
“We the queen mothers heard the breaking news that UHAS has appointed a female Vice-Chancellor. We are here to give you all moral support. We want to assure you that there is no way you will be found wanting in Ho.
“We are sending a message to the young ones that are patrolling the streets that they should emulate you,” Mama Attrato said.
The queens also presented eggs as a symbolic gesture.
The investiture was attended by dignitaries including President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who joined hundreds from the world of academia, traditional and political leadership, and the nursing fraternity at the historic event.
Prof. Aziato, in an investiture speech, shared gratitude among various women achievers who inspired her endeavours, and these included Mrs. Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady, and female vice chancellors in Ghana and on the African continent.
She replaced Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, who had headed the UHAS from 2016, and outlined a strategic focus that promised growth and continuity at the 10-year-old prime health training and research institution established on a Parliamentary Act, and whose meteoric rise was being widely celebrated.
“I wish to emphasize that we will focus on growth and expansion in all our activities, resources, and programmes as we progress through the years.
“The growth will be pursued using innovative ways that are technology driven. We will seek to train health professionals who have high integrity and approach issues and care ethically with a strong sense of fairness to all,” the new VC said.
Prof. Aziato appealed to the President for financial clearance for more staff for the University, which student population crossed 7000.
President Akufo-Addo commended the trend of female leadership in the country and assured the new VC of the Government’s support.
“It appears the female leadership of our premier tertiary education institutions, which has been long overdue, is now very much the flavour of the moment.
“I believe that the new Vice-Chancellor, is a person capable of not only steering the affairs of the University for the next four years, but also sending the Institution to greater heights.
“Her induction into office today is a mark of the trust the Governing Council of the University had reposed in her, and I’m confident that this trust will not be broken,
“You have my support and the support of government to pursue this aggressive transformative agenda you outlined in your speech,” the President said.
Ms. Yaa Amankwaa Opuni, a new Registrar, was appointed together with the VC, and replaced Mrs Cynthia Kpeglo.
Justice Jones Dotse, the Chairman of the University Council, who swore them in, said they were approved following a search committee’s recommendation and mentioned that the appointments had been “without controversies”.
He conferred on the VC the position of ‘chief operation officer” of the University and said she would be responsible for developing its overall strategy.
Prof. Aziato has over 70 publications to her credit, and more than 1000 citations in renowned academic and research works and is thus the nation’s leading nurse scholar.
She has a large portfolio of several awards and fellowships accrued over years of dedicated service in her academic and professional career.