Lack of clinical training facilities poses challenge for UNAM

01 Mar 2018 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 01 MAR (NAMPA) – The University of Namibia (UNAM) was unable to accommodate over 50 per cent of qualifying students who applied to study medicine this year, due to a lack of accredited training hospitals.
There are only five accredited hospitals with a specific number of specialised doctors who can assist in clinical training of medical interns.
The hospitals include, Oshakati, Onandjokwe, Katutura and Windhoek Central as well as Ongwediva Medipark.
Out of 2 229 applications received, only 166 were enrolled for the 2018 academic year. The enrolled students represent less than 50 per cent of those qualifying to study at the specialised school.
Speaking at the 9th White Coat Ceremony for the first year medical students here on Wednesday, outgoing UNAM Vice Chancellor, Professor Lazarus Hangula said this was unacceptable.
“This level of wastage is far too high to accept. Namibia cannot afford this,” he said.
He commended the Ministry of Health and Social Services for making its facilities and resources readily available for education and training purposes.
“We are aware that more can be achieved if we plan together and consolidate our efforts and resources.”
The outgoing VC also took the opportunity to applaud the Ongwediva Medipark hospital for the same gesture.
“Our journey together has been most rewarding. As we enter our second phase of growth, we look forward to much more support in the training of the future specialists for the country,” he said.
He appealed to the business community to assist so that, together with UNAM, the resource gaps can be plugged.
The 166 students will be studying towards their Bachelor and Bachelor of Science degrees in Medicine, Surgery (honours), Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy (honours), Dentistry Surgery (honours) and Master’s in Medical Anaesthesiology.
“What an achievement. I am proud to even present to you the first intake group of doctors who chose UNAM as the place where they will embark on their future career in Anaesthesia,” said Hangula, referring to the six doctors who will study towards their Master degrees in Medical Anaesthesiology.
The School of Medicine started in 2010 with 52 students.
Today, UNAM accommodates 600 students at the campus. This number does not include the 100 students studying at the School of Public Health, housed at Oshakati Campus.
“This is phenomenal growth,” noted Hangula, adding that whatever achievements have been recorded were a result of collective effort.