Sep 7, 2010, 11:39 AM
The Gambia campus of American International University, West Africa (AIUWA) on Tuesday held its first graduation ceremony for the class of 2015 at a colourful ceremony held at Pencha Mi Hall, the Paradise Suites Hotel.
The ceremony saw 64 students (45 of whom are Gambians) graduating from the AIUWA College of Nursing. Of the 64 graduates, 55 are nurses with specialisation in anesthesia, perioperative, psychiatry, general nursing and midwives, and 9 are medical laboratory technicians who received degrees of Associates of Applied Science in medical laboratory.
Dr Dinesh Shukla, president of the university, said that from the beginning of the institute in The Gambia in 2011, President Yahya Jammeh has been supporting it through his guidance, wisdom and directives, which has enabled the AIUWA to reach where it is today.
He said they started the institute with a faculty that out-numbered the student population but in a short period of 4 to 5 years, they have been able to establish six colleges, three campuses and a vibrant student population.
Dr Shukla said that with the education and training that the graduates received from the university, they can now be part of a solution to some of the health problems affecting the world today.
Dr Abubakar Senghore, Minister of Higher Education Research Science and Technology, told the new graduates that their graduation was just the beginning of a notable profession while urging them to remember the adage, “to whom much is given much is expected”.
“Medical professionalism signifies a set of values, behaviours, and relationships that underpin the trust the public has in you,” he said, adding that medicine is a vocation in which nurses’ knowledge, clinical skills, and judgment are put in the service of protecting and restoring human wellbeing.
Dr Senghore said these values, which underpin the science and practice of medicine, form the basis for a moral contract between the medical profession and society.
He said one of the priorities of The Gambia government is to produce a critical mass of homegrown doctors, nurses and other professionals to reduce the dependency on foreign expertise.
The minister urged the graduates to stay flexible and be prepared to have their hearts broken as they work to learn the clinical side of medicine.
“Your professional and caring attitude towards patients is one critical factor in managing patients of various complications,” he said. “Go forward, not with an artificial glow about all that you have achieved, but with the stark reality of what lies ahead.”
Dr Omar Sey, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, told the fresh medical professionals that they now have a mandate to fulfill their obligation to serve the people of The Gambia with professionalism and compassion.
“I am positive that the efforts of the graduates shall help in meeting and achieving adequate progress in fulfilling the goals of the Ministry of Health and the government,” he said.