As the world marks the International Nurses Day today, the GhanaWeb travels back to history for you to meet the first Ghanaian chief nursing officer.
Nursing day is celebrated on 12 May, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
Docia Angelina Naki Kisseih (Docia Kisseih)
Docia Angelina Naki Kisseih (Docia Kisseih) became the first Ghanaian Chief Nursing Officer to take over from the British Colonial government in 1961.
She was Born on August 13, 1919, in Odumase. She had her high school education at Krobo Girls Senior High School.
Docia Kisseih spent three years at Achimota School where she obtained her Cambridge Higher
School Certificate in 1938, and in 1940 she enrolled at the Korle Bu maternity hospital for three years of nursing training with an emphasis on midwifery.
She was Ghana’s first nurse with a doctorate degree which she earned from the University
of Boston in 1981 while lecturing at the Department of Nursing University of Ghana (between 1975 and 1981).
According to Kisseih(1962), before 1899, the sick was only cared for by family and friends who had no scientific knowledge, and Nobody took up Nursing as a career.
However, in 1899, the first British Colonial Nursing sister arrived in Accra and that marked the beginning of training of professional nurse.
In 1961, Docia Kisseih was made the first Ghanaian Chief Nursing Officer of the newly independent Ghana, her job title inherited from the earlier British system.
In December 1961, there were 2692 nurses in Ghana, made up of 1700 female nurses and 992 male nurses and distributed under the following categories:- S.R.N , Q.R.N, Mental Nurses and Public Nurses (Kisseih, 1962).
Docia Angelina Naki Kisseih is the founder and first president of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA).
She also served on the National Health Planning Committee and the Nurses and Midwives Board.
Dr Kisseih was earlier honored by the state in 1984 and her portrait was put on the 100 cedi note in 1986.
University of Ghana conferred a Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) degree on Dr Docia Angelina Naki Kisseih for her contribution to public service at a special congregation at her North Labone residence in Accra.
She died later that year in 2008.
In 2015, the Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) instituted a series of lectures to be called the Dr Docia Kisseih Memorial Lectures.
Read Full Story