19 June 2017

Namibia: School of Medicine Advisory Board Commissioned

Windhoek — The advisory board of the University of Namibia's (Unam) School of Medicine was inaugurated and commissioned on Friday as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Unam and the Health Ministry.

The objective of the MoU is to facilitate the collaboration and cooperation of Unam School of Medicine and the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the development and continuous improvement of the operations at the School of Medicine.

In addition, the objectives include ensuring that the provision of education and training to students at the School of Medicine meet the national standards and requirements, as provided by Namibian law.

The new members of the advisory board are permanent secretary in the health ministry Dr Andreas Mwoombola, who is the chairperson of the board, Dr Armid Azadeh of the Medical Association of Namibia, Dr Chris de Chavonnes Vrugt of the Namibia Dental Association, Dr Helena Ndume an ophthalmologist, the head of nuclear medicine in Namibia in the Health Ministry Dr Shitaleni Herman, and community representative Ambrosius Agapitus.

The board includes Namibia Qualifications Authority CEO Franz Gertze, deputy director of the Centre for Quality Assurance and Management at Unam Nangula Iipumbu, deputy executive director for operations at the National Council for Higher Education Sylvia Demas, Prof Philip Odonkor of Unam, Dr Katriina Kuna Shikongo of the Namibia Nursing Association, as well as a yet to be nominated representative from the Pharmaceutical Society of Namibia.

Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku highlighted the responsibility of the ministry regarding the MOU. This includes the application of the School of Medicine curriculum, syllabi guidelines and logbooks in the clinical training of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

"It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and Social Services to ensure that staff members in the service platform include functions of clinical training and supervision of students as part of their daily responsibilities," said Haufiku.

Dr Kalumbi Shangula said that Unam trains students in nursing, medicine, pharmacy and other health-related fields. The students are required to undergo practical training in hospitals, health centres and clinics of the Ministry of Health as course requirements for their respective degree and diploma programmes.

"The MOU makes provision for the establishment of the advisory board to oversee the implementation of the MOU and to streamline the training of students," Shangula said.

Members of the advisory board were jointly appointed by the minister of health and social Services and the vice chancellor of Unam. The occasion marked the official inauguration of the advisory board so that it can start with its work, Shangula said.

Unam Vice Chancellor Professor Lazarus Hangula said members of the advisory board were appointed because they are people of calibre, "who have what it takes to make our thriving School of Medicine to shine".

He further advised that they were expected to assist the School of Medicine by providing guidance and advice and to nurture it for growth. "For now we have no other medical school, apart from this one. It is my wish that your relationship with the School of Medicine and its staff will be a positive one," Hangula said.

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