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IAMS Matriculates 3rd Batch 

By Azore Opio

The Higher Institute of Applied Medical Sciences, HIAMS, Saturday, November 7, on its premises in Molyko, Buea, matriculated its third batch of 55 nursing students; 17 for Medical Laboratory Technology, MLT, and 38 for the nursing department.

New nursing students take the pledge

The matriculation ceremony was adorned by two academic discourses delivered by Dr. Eric Bertrand Fokam; Department of Plant and Animal Sciences and Dr. M.N Ngemenya; Biochemistry and Medical Laboratory Technology; both from the  University of Buea. Intrigued by the long and complex relationship between insects and humans since antiquity – the insect infecting humans with disease, attacking their crops, infesting their food stores and pestering their animals – Dr. Fokam endeavoured to chain the link between the nursing profession and insects with the "patient".

Dr. Fokam cited cases of patients reporting with ailments caused by larvae of flies (tumbu fly) "that invade living tissues; the jigger flea that invades human tissues and feeds voraciously of our flesh and blood; immune disorders called allergies that may be caused by allergens left around human dwellings by cockroaches and dust mites; scabies caused by the mange mite…"

There is also another category of insects, said Fokam, that includes houseflies and cockroaches that move between human and animal waste and poorly reserved food, transporting and disseminating human disease-producing agents including the agents of amoebiasis and typhoid fever.

Then there are arthropods that feed on the blood of humans. These are varied and include mosquitoes, tsetse flies, black flies, sand flies, bugs, lice and fleas, ticks and a few others.
Dr. Ngemenya, on his part, harped on the place of traditional medicine in contemporary healthcare. In his presentation, he recalled that the use of plants for medicinal purposes dates as far back as 60,000 years.

Referring to a World Health Organisation, WHO, document, Dr. Ngemenya said traditional medicine, TM, therapies include "medication therapies where they involve the use of herbal medicines, animal parts and/or minerals and non-medication therapies as in the case of acupuncture, manual and spiritual therapies. 

But despite the fact that traditional medicine has been in much use as therapies; that it is "widely used and is a rapidly growing health system and of economic importance," it has not been incorporated into the national healthcare system and it is still surrounded by general disagreement and doubts. In order to fill the knowledgeable gaps surrounding TM, Ngemenya urges the application of the scientific approach to "uncover the unknowns of TM"; to codify it, regulate it and teach it openly and practise it widely and systematically.

Earlier in his opening remarks, HIAMS Executive President and Founder, Michael A G Boyo, senior clinical biochemist at the Department of Health Sciences, University of Buea, said they are implementing a world class nursing curriculum developed in collaboration with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of East Anglia, UK, while maintaining a 50:50 ratio of theory and practice with the expert tutorship of highly qualified and motivated staff.

HIAMS has won two British Council grants; to develop a new national nursing curriculum to meet UK standards and to move from pre-registration to post registration program.

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