One thousand and eighteen new lecturers are to be recruited this year to boost teaching in the various public universities in the country.
The recruitment exercise is to honour the full request made to the government by all the universities to increase the teaching capacity of the institutions.
The ceremony saw the graduation of the first batch of 171 students with bachelor degrees in the various courses they pursued at the five schools being run by UHAS.
President Mahama stated that the government was committed to establishing public universities in the regions.
In line with that, he said, it had set aside a budget line in the annual Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) to fast-track the development of infrastructure and provision of equipment in the university.
The President noted that a nation achieved its development goals with an effective and efficient health service, and that “UHAS has provided an enabling environment and opportunity to help this nation achieve a healthy nation and improve on the quality of life of our citizenry.”
He expressed excitement over the commencement of the sixth school of UHAS at Keta, whose curriculum had been completed and waiting the approval of the National Accreditation Board and the Pharmacy Council of Ghana.
Budgetary allocation, he said, had been made in the GETFund formula this year for a smooth take-off of the School of Pharmacy.
President Mahama, in a tribute to Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the late President, indicated that the nation was indebted to him for hatching the vision and daring to visualise it to take the concrete step of making it become a reality despite the challenges and uncertainty.
“I wish Prof. Mills were here today to witness the realisation of his dream,” he said, commending the university for instituting a memorial lecture in his honour.
The outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Fred Newton Binka, stated that the university had undertaken 50 projects in Ho and Hohoe, including offices and auditoriums, to enhance the infrastructure of the university.
He said UHAS had chalked up a lot of successes in the past five years and was on course to becoming one of the best health universities in the world, adding that it would soon start a post-graduate degree programme and urged the students to enrol when the time comes.
He urged members of the institution to support his successor, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, to continue with the task ahead.
The Chairman of the council of UHAS, Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, in a welcome address, appealed to the government to set aside a supplementary grant in its annual budget to support the institution.
“Unless this is done, we may soon be crippled by kwashiorkor resulting from financial malnutrition,” he indicated.
The university honoured a former First Lady, Dr Ernestina Naadu Mills; a former Chairman of the Dental Council, Dr Christian Ayebeng Botchway, and Prof. Samuel Sefa-Dedeh of the School of Engineering Sciences, University of
Ghana, with doctorate degrees.