College of Medicine and Allied Health Services (COMAHS) which was established through the assistance of Nigeria, about 25 years ago, may soon get more from that country.
Speaking at the Swearing-in/graduation ceremony of over 250 medical personnel at the college campus at Kossoh Town on Saturday, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone H.E. Eyo Asuqu recalled that the initiative for the COMAHS was spear-headed by the late Professor Taiwo Adesanya Ige Grillo,a Nigerian, who later became the first Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of the College.
The envoy also noted that great Sierra Leoneans were in Nigeria to assist with the development of medical education in different universities.
The Guest of Honour at the Swearing-in ceremony Amb. Asuquo noted that some of the challenges the college is facing include, the lack of a centralized campus which has made academic work difficult and so there is a need for funding for a modern campus with appropriate facilities.
Restating some of the college’s aspirations and hopes, Eyo Asuquo said that it aims to contribute to reclaiming the country’s lost glory as the Athens of West Africa, construct a centralized campus at Kossoh Town, reclaim its 61 acres land, become the best in the sub-region and attract students from all over the World.
He also revealed that the Nigerian Government is willing to continue with its Technical Aid Corps (TAC) scheme and other technical assistance in the Health sector. He also called on the new health personel to carry out their duties with the fear of God.
Speaking as Chairman of the 18th Oath-swearing ceremony of the school of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, Dr.Victor Willoughby in ushering the newly-trained doctors and others into the noble profession of medicine wished them a happy journey as they start their professional journey but in the course of their practice , they should be guided by the code of ethics of the Sierra Leone Health Service and must in addition remember that the client they deal with have rights , stipulated in the patients Charter.
While congratulating them for reaching this height, Dr. Jonas Redwood-Sawyerr Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone said that the most guiding principle throughout their practice is that unlike other humanities where apologies can be made for an error in judgment or interpretation , the practice of medicine may not have a second chance as an error may be fatal.
He therefore called on them to be committed, ethical and compassionate.
The new Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Abubakarr Fofanah who was performing one of his first official duties, also recalled that COMAHS has come a long way since he was a student and has proved its critics wrong has continued to produce doctors and other health workers who have excelled. He highlighted what the Government has done so far and what it intends to do to make the healthcare system better than ever. He also called on them to always be upgrading themselves for their own good and that of the patients.
Speaking on behalf of the grandaunts, Dr.Hoody Lymon called on Government to ensure that doctors are put on the pay role immediately and do not have to go without salaries for three months.
He also appealed to the authorities to ensure that medical personnel be treated free of costs in hospitals.
Dr. Gordon Harris called on all to be disciplined, honest, ethical and compassionate.