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School Of Medicine Celebrates 40 Years 

By Edith Wirdze

The Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaounde I from 17-24 July celebrated 40 years of existence. In the solemn opening, Prime Minister Philemon Yang, commended government’s pride of the numerous achievements of the school registered over the years.

PM Yang inaugurating Hippocrates monument

In a speech, which was read by the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo, the Prime Minister said the achievements have "indeed contributed immeasurably towards national development and in the empowerment of the living conditions of Cameroonians."
He said the school has trained 3,350 health personnel among whom are 2,042 general practitioners, 344 specialist physicians, 19 emergency physicians, 747 higher technicians in nursing care and 198 paramedical personnel.

According to him, this record is impressive and the research teams have produced valuable and high quality results, which have been used to formulate various national health policies.
He said the new education system, BMD, is now operational and the introduction of new programmes such as dentistry, pharmacy, biomedical sciences and paramedical health sciences, would enhance health care services.

Yang also appreciated the initiative of creating a Hippocrates Foundation. This foundation, he said, would become a valuable partner alongside the government and other stakeholders, in the training of medical personnel. The Prime Minister inaugurated the Hippocrates Monument where henceforth graduating students would have to take oath of good services expected from them.

The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Prof. Tetanye Ekoe, lauded the anniversary and said it was necessary to pay homage to the founding fathers and all those who have contributed in the success story. Celebrating 40 years, he said, was a symbol of maturity. He highlighted the missions of the school; high level training of health personnel, the promotion of fundamental and applied research and quality health care.

Hippocrates Monument, where graduating students would take oath

Today, the school is facing challenges such as increasing number of students with limited resources, drastic reduction of state resources that makes it incapable for students to benefit from scholarships, inadequate modern equipment necessary for training, staff and teachers as well as meritocracy to prevail in the entrance examination into the school. Medals were awarded to members of staff who have offered excellent services in the institution. There was an exhibition of the various batches of the school from 1996. The occasion was spiced with music and dances.

Weeklong activities included conferences, colloquiums, health campaigns on testing diseases, cultural evenings, sports, musical concerts, gala evening, drawing of the lots of the Hippocrates Foundation and official handling of diplomas. The School of Medicine was created in 1969 with the name the University Centre of Health Sciences. It became the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Science of the University of Yaounde I following the 1992 University Reforms. The Director of the University Centre of Health Sciences from 1969-1975 was Prof. Lobe G. Monekosso.

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