In a statement delivered on his behalf by Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy during the inauguration ceremony of the University of The Gambia’s new School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences academic building in Banjul yesterday morning, she said: “As I have often asserted, the vision of my government is to transform and put the University of The Gambia on the path to becoming a world-class university. We are well on course towards achieving this noble objective. As the chancellor of the University of The Gambia, I have nursed that vision since the early days of the revolution. I stood steadfast and unrelenting given the possibilities presented by this dream by putting forward the resources that we would begin to realise that it was possible to breed our own doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, information technologists, entrepreneurs, public administrators et cetera and to develop them to become enviable assets not only for the benefit of our country but humanity at large. Let us celebrate that tenacity and let us commend that audacity! That vision continues to bear fruit in this astounding edifice we are here to inaugurate to enlarge the learning space and expand the possibilities of what the school of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the School of Nursing can offer,” she revealed.
Veep Njie-Saidy said lack of trained human resources in the health sector has been a major obstacle to achieving the MDGs, the majority of which she argued, are related to health care and prevention.
“Thus my government has attached great importance to tertiary education as a key driving force for our vision 2020 benchmarks and has remained unflinching to accelerate the production of much needed knowledgeable, enlightened and dedicated workforce. The particular need and urgency to fight, reduce, and perhaps even eliminate maternal and newborn mortality, and morbidity problems, as highlighted by the MDGs make the training of the health workforce of this country critical.”
She said the School of Medicine continues to be the main source of human capacity development and supply of medical doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, public health and other related health care professionals to sustain and strengthen The Gambia’s health care infrastructure and delivery system.
The new building and that of the Faculty of Law, Veep said, are unique edifices which are important backdrops to an evolving university accelerating towards the path of a world-class university. These are the first set of academic infrastructure ever built by the UTG from her own resources in her fifteen year history, she concludes.
UTG Vice-Chancellor Professor Mohammodou Kah gave a brief background of the Medical School: “The Medical School, which was established in 1999 barely fifteen years ago, under the directive of our chancellor, has grown exponentially from a modest number of 11 graduates in 2004/5 to a cumulative number of 106 graduates, out of which 65 are male and 41 female with 14 being non-Gambians under the strict professional purview of the Medical and Dental Council and external examiners from institutions of high repute. We currently have 221 medical students enrolled composed of 106 males and 115 females with 46 being non-Gambians!! In addition, we currently have 150 nursing students enrolled in our BSc and 14 in the MSc. We have also graduated 59 HTTI diploma holders and 145 HTTI certificate holders. Imagine the impact on our health delivery system with this influx of highly trained health professionals. I say, this is no easy feat; this is indeed an achievement to be celebrated!
“The main structure we are inaugurating today, spells immense possibilities to improve the climate of health delivery with skilled and committed practitioners who have become wholesomely sensitised and trained to become aware of and to practice their profession with the highest standards of ethics, humility, honesty and compassion,” he said.]]>