By Fatoumata K. Jallow
Held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi, the event witnessed the graduation of 55 nurses with specialization in Anaesthesia, perioperative, psychiatry, general nursing and midwives and 9 medical laboratory technicians who received degrees of associates of applied science in medical laboratory.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Dinesh Shukla, President of AIUWA, said they started this institution with a faculty that out-numbered the student population and that in this short period of 4 to 5 years, they have been able to establish six colleges, three campuses and a vibrant student population.
“The AIU Health Science Campus is under construction at Kanifing Institutional Area and is expected to be completed in the next 10 months,” said Mr Shukla.
He said the heart and soul of AIUWA was in the room where the event was taking place and that is all their students.
“For me, this is a very special event – the first AIUWA commencement,” noted Mr. Shukla.
The AIUWA President noted that the graduates have many challengers ahead, ranging from political to economic to health.
“We live in the age of Ebola, HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis, malaria etc. I believe that with the education and training you have received from AIUWA, you can be part of the solution to some of these challenges, especially in health related field,” said Mr. Shukla.
He urged the graduates to put their education and training to work.
“As you continue to learn and change, remember to recall your mentors, keep up spirits and stretch your imagination,” he concluded.
Mr. Omar Sey, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, in his keynote address, expressed his pride for this AIUWA achievement in educating and training these 64 graduates.
“I am pleased to note that 45 are Gambians who have been taught and trained free by AIUWA,” he disclosed.
The Health minister also noted that he is aware of the scholarships being offered to his ministry for the next academic year.
“Graduates you now have a mandate to fulfil your obligation to serve the people of the Gambia with professionalism and compassion. Your focus should be on participating in prevention of infectious diseases like Ebola, HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, NCDs which plagues this continent through education of general population. And to provide professional patient care for the mothers, children and people with other forms of ability,” said Mr. Sey.
He gave assurance that the ministry of health and social welfare is prepared to do everything possible to provide and ensure quality health care at the hospitals and clinics around the country.
“Together, let us fight diseases and give hope to all Gambians and all those living here,” he said.
For his part, Dr. Ababucarr Senghore, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, said medical professionalism signifies a set of values, behaviours, and relationships that underpins the trust the public has in the graduates.
“Medicine is a vocation in which nurses’ knowledge, clinical skills, and judgement are put in the service of protecting and restoring human well-being. These values, which underpin the science and practice of medicine, form the basis for a moral contract between the medical profession and society,” said the Dr. Senghore.
He told the graduates that many of them will be switching to new stations and new institutions to begin the dispensation of their duties and that they have now metamorphosed from students to fully-fledged nurses.
“As you work to learn the clinical side of medicine, stay flexible, and prepared to have your heart broken,” said DR. Senghore.