New medical graduates from Cuba ready to serve

Despite awaiting pre-internship medical board examination, newly graduated medical students from the Medical Science of Havana in Cuba said they are ready to take up the Hippocratic Oath and serve in Namibia’s public health sector.

More than 170 young Namibians graduated on 31 July 2023 as part of the academic services cooperation agreement between the governments of Namibia and Cuba.

According to the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCN) the graduates are expected to write the medical board examination in October 2023 on a date yet to be confirmed, before they are deployed to health facilities across the country. In order to do internships the foreign-trained graduates have to pass the written and oral examinations that are mandatory and statutory since introduction in 2016.

Speaking to Nampa upon arrival on Sunday at the Hosea Kutako International Airport where family members and friends in excitement welcomed a group of 22 graduates, Dr Amos Siteketa expressed readiness to take up the medical career to contribute to the quality of the health system.

“It is an amazing feeling and opportunity as not everyone gets it. We are here now, we came ready to help the Namibian health system, almost every other day we read in the newspapers there is a medical staff shortage and we are more than ready… If they give us the mandate even tomorrow to go to the hospitals to make things better, we are ready,” he said.

Another graduate, Dr Immanuel Kandjiimi, said it’s an honour to be back home after seven years in Cuba and he is excited to render health services to the public, noting that quality health equals high performance of citizens.

“I am looking forward to writing my board examinations and looking forward to serving fellow Namibians, that is my priority, to serve in any way I can,” he said.

A parent, Paulus Hauwanga, showered gratitude on the government, noting that during the studies there were various challenges endured by the students, however, the government continued with its unwavering support up until the students completed their studies.

Recently, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) said 85 per cent of Namibians depend on the public healthcare system, therefore with the recent graduates comes another achievement meant to improve the country’s public health sector.

According to the HPCN registry issued earlier to Nampa, the country has a total of 1 243 registered medical practitioners.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency