The 4th of December, Saturday is an important milestone in Eritrean history. On this date, Eritrea will graduate its first ever 31 medical doctors and 8 medical specialists.
Although Eritrea was one of the first African countries in which a health college was set up in, it has not been able to further expand its health training centers due to colonization as well as incapacitating and long struggle for independence.
The Eritrean Liberation Front during the armed struggle for independence had performed exemplary and successful job in providing health services to its people and combatants by providing training to many of its rank and file in differing health vocations ranging from bare foot doctors to other basic health professionals in its endeavor to establish primary healthcare provision. Also, there were numerous commendable examples of self reliance in manufacturing essential medical supplies and pharmaceutical products, a feat that was not paralleled elsewhere in Africa during that time.
One of the biggest investments that were made after independence was in the health sector. Eritreans, regardless of their locality and whether they are from the rural areas or cities were able to get adequate health services. As the provision of full health services is enshrined in our national charter and is one of the sectors in which huge investment is being made in by the Government of Eritrea.
The experience that has been gained during our struggle for independence is one of the major contributing factors to the realization of the above mentioned goal. Today, as a result of all the past experiences acquired, we witness an increase in the access and quality of healthcare, provision of medical supplies, health infrastructure; a decrease of infant and maternal mortality rates and the reduction of many communicable diseases. All this has accorded Eritrea an extensive acknowledgment from the World Health Organization.
On top of the efforts to improve the quality and access to healthcare, endeavors to develop committed health workforce has been steadily growing. The existing nurse school has been expanded to become a health and medical technologies college. What we see today, the first batch of graduates from Orotta Medical School is an extension of the ongoing efforts to expand and improve healthcare provisions. This is expected to contribute in the increase of healthcare workers in Eritrea.
The theme during the time the school was set up pointed that although Eritrea is one of the first places in Africa in which a medical school was set up in, developing our human resources by training them in health vocations not only will make us self-reliant in health provision, but will allow us to export our expertise to neighboring countries. Surely enough, if there is a vision and dedication nothing is impossible. And the commencement ceremony reflects on the above mentioned truth.