By Julius N. Uma
June 30, 2012 (JUBA) - The University of Juba’s College of Medicine on Friday received a donation of over books worth $350,000; all courtesy of the World Health Organization (WHO) country office in Juba, South Sudan.
- Some of the books World Health Organization donated to Juba University College of Medicine, June 29, 2012 (ST)
The donation, according to WHO, is part of the organisation’s mandate to provide technical support to training institutions to scale-up production of health personnel who play fundamental roles in ensuring citizens access health services in order to overcome the critical challenges in human resources within South Sudan’s health sector.
The contribution, WHO’s head of office said, is one way through which the organisation extends support towards the development and strengthening of the human resources for health capacity.
“The organization expects that the books will contribute to improved performance in the health system of South Sudan as a member state of WHO,” said Abdinasir Abubakar.
Almost a year since it attained independence, South Sudan health care systems remain extremely weak, with very limited health facilities. The human resource capacity in South Sudan is said to be very low compared to other countries, with a doctor to patient ratio of 1.5:10,000.
Milly Hussein, South Sudan’s health minister, while handing over the books to the university officials, expressed optimism that the donated items will immense contribution towards improving the standard of medicine practices at the college.
“The provision of these books is very supportive in the teaching of medicines. These books are very useful and can be used as a reference for students of post graduate studies,” the minister said.
He however appealed to WHO and other development partners to provide more support to medical students in the country, particularly through scholarships and encouraged them to specialise in communicable and non-communicable diseases, which he said remain a huge burden to South Sudan’s health care system.
Aggrey Lemi, the University Vice Chancellor, while receiving the books, thanked WHO for its generous contribution to the country’s oldest institution of learning.
“The support that WHO has provided to the university will be of great assistance to the students studying medicine in this University,” he remarked.
The university, founded in 1975, has in the recent past been marred by strikes both from staffs and students. Recent clashes between students from different ethnic groups on the campus caused it to be temporarily closed.
Most students interviewed by Sudan Tribune, say that the university’s administration is mostly to blame for the current problems.