The progress that has been made in the delivery of healthcare service in Eritrea is quite encouraging and is a stepping stone for the achievements to be realized in the future.
Every year, a number of students obtain degrees and diplomas in different fields of healthcare and as a result the Ministry of Health has been augmenting its human resources. But, what is the competence of the medical staff like?Dr. Haile Mezgebe once said “The graduating students are very capable. It is not only my opinion. We had experts from the UK, the US and some from the Middle East and other African countries. The visiting faculties from various countries consistently tell us how qualified and talented our students are. We have very qualified and talented men and women trained as healthcare professionals and what they all need is an opportunity to improve themselves.”
As the Government and the Ministry of Health have always been doing, creating a venue helps the graduates to take their potential to a higher realm of excellence.
Over the years a number of healthcare professionals have been trained as surgeons, midwives, nurses, gynecologists, pharmacists, dentists and other healthcare professions.
Asmara College of Health Science, for instance, graduated 3596 students in the period between 2009 and 2018. In its 10th commencement held on July 10, the College graduated 178 in degree, 226 in diploma and 18 students in master’s degree.
The college has for the first time offered courses at master’s level to 18 students. Nine students did their master’s in Anesthesia Nursing and the rest 9 have earned their master’s degree in Emergency and Critical Care Nursing. The college is currently offering Master’s courses in the fields of Midwifery Nursing and Clinical Pharmacy.
When it was administrated under the University of Asmara in the period between 1995 and 2005, the College used to offer degree and diploma courses in the fields of Medical Laboratory and Pharmacy.
Since its reestablishment as an independent college in 2005, Asmara College of Health Science has increased the number of courses it offers to meet the growing demands of healthcare professionals. At this time, the college trains students in Allied Health, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health. The four schools offer courses at different levels. Though there are plans to extend the number and scope of courses, the college has been offering four master’s courses as well as 9 degree and 7 diploma programs.
The overall number of students who are attending courses in Asmara College of Health Science this year is 1423. Thirty two are studying for master’s, 572 for degree and 819 for diploma. Women make up 48% of the total number of students.
In terms of instructors, the total number is 124. Out of which the 20 are expatriates, the sixty-four instructors are BA holders and four of the 13 doctors and 14 of the 30 master’s holders are Eritreans.
The contribution of Asmara College of Health Science in the provision of healthcare service is remarkable. Graduates from the college have been assigned to different parts of the country and are easing healthcare problems, particularly in the remotest areas.
The number of trainees has been increasing each year and their input in the provision of healthcare has also equally redoubled. The efforts that have been made to enable all nationals lead a healthy lifestyle has started to pay off.
The students continue to demonstrate excellence in all fields of studies and are playing a decisive role in the achievement of strategic healthcare development programs set at local level and in meeting the global target set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Undoubtedly Eritrea needs more healthcare professionals in a variety of specializations. What has been obtained is only the beginning of a bigger achievement. More will be trained as teachers, as patient care providers, as surgeons and as researchers.
All the students have gone through academic training in medicine and put what they have learned into practice. They have been trained in seeing, evaluating and treating patients. The students of Asmara College of Health Science have been treating patients under supervision as part of their training but from now on they will do everything by themselves. This is what they have expressed during their graduation ceremony.
The 10th commencement of Asmara College of Health Science was a cheerful event. All the participants of the ceremony were overwhelmed by the Ethio-Eritrea peace deal. Some of the graduates said “Despite challenges, we have been registering remarkable achievements and we are now fueled by the prospects of peace between the two countries and so we will achieve more and more.”
Ms. Amina Nurhussien, Minister of Health, said that the Government has been relentlessly working to provide quality healthcare service to all nationals. Owing to this commitment, Eritrea has registered impressive progress in healthcare in general and in maternal and child health as well as in the reduction of the prevalence of communicable diseases in particular.
Minister Amina further noted that Eritrea’s commitment to the strategic golobal develpmet progrmmes has been reassured. Hence, a five year strategic healthcare plan has been finalized and its implementation has already begun. “There is no doubt this will be achieved shortly through the integrated efforts of the people and Government of Eritrea,” Ms. Amina Said.
Dr. Ghiday Ghebreyohaness, Dean of Asmara College of Health Science, said that the primary objective of the College is to produce competent professionals and researchers. Thus by maintaining its reputation, Asmara College of Health Science is exerting efforts to take the country’s provision of healthcare to a new level of excellence.