New Democrat (Monrovia)

3 December 2012

Liberia: Group Defends Chinese Credentials

The debate over the qualification of few medical practitioners who recently returned home from China after undergoing intensive medical training has intensified with a Chinese-funded group defending the Chinese trained Liberian medical doctors.

Recently Dr. Robert Kopto, head of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) was quoted as saying that Liberian doctors trained by China "are poorly performing on their various assignments in the country."

Other critics of the Chinesetrained Liberian medical practitioners, Dr. Nyaquoi Kargbo and Dr. Micheal Slawion were also quoted as making similar comments in the local dailies.

But during a press conference at the Sam's Barbeque Restaurant in Sinkor, Friday, the Liberia Chines Trained Scholars (LCTS) furiously refuted the criticisms as malicious, describing it as blackmailing the efforts of the Chinese government In Liberia.

Mulbah Johnson, LCTS's President, told journalists that the doctors' claims are "untrue" and noted that "it is a blackmailing campaign to denigrate and rubbish all the achievements the Chinese Government is making in Liberia."

"All we can say to the Liberia people and the world at large is that graduates from the People's Republic of China are well-trained in their respective professions that can propel them to meaningfully contribute to the rebuilding process of Liberia and must be given the chance to prove themselves as other countries are doing for youths.

"We will like Dr. Kpoto, Dr. Slawion, Dr. Kargbo and their likes to know that Chinese trained Liberian scholars will resist any attempt to use them as a conduit to express their anti-China sentiments," he said.

Johnson also said that no evaluation has been conducted for the three Chinese trained doctors who are currently in the country to enable them pass through their internship and subsequently graduate from their studies abroad.

Both Botoe Zinna and Clinton Garpeh, officials of the LCTS disclosed that the three doctors lack "evidence to substantiate their charges against" them and that their assertions "are out of nothing but mere envy and fear."

They expressed concerns over the "conspicuous silence" of the Inter-Ministerial Scholarship committee on the issue.

"What is more troubling, fellow citizens is the conspicuous silence of the Inter-ministerial Scholarship Committee, the Ministry of Education and the Civil Service Agency into this avalanche of unfounded and unnecessary outburst, leaving us to believe that this is an organized conspiracy theory aimed at targeting scholars from China," said Johnson.

They emphasized that there is much to be done in the country's various sectors including the medical area. They called on the Liberia Dental and Medical Board to afford their colleagues the opportunity to practice their professions so as to enable them complete their studies abroad as recommended, and serve as "huge boost to the health sector of our country."

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