The World Bank Liberia Country Office has provided to the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia, two buses to facilitate the movement of students and faculty to and from their Fendall Campus, outside of Monrovia. The buses, according to a World Bank Liberia press release, are valued at US$121,000.00, including comprehensive insurance for a year.
Making the presentation today at the Ministry of Health, World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Dr. Khwima Nthara, said the two new vehicles (30 and 18-seater buses) will maximize use of the newly constructed dormitories and clinical skills laboratory at the Fendall Campus.
Recently, Dr. Nthara said, the World Bank provided initial support of US$2.45 million to finance construction of two state of the art and fully furnished 48-bed dormitories, 2 furnished classrooms and one skills laboratory. “This support was aimed at strengthening the learning environment of the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, thus enhancing the health workforce and contributing to the improvement of health care services in Liberia,” he said.
The support then was in response to the findings of the comprehensive assessment of training institutions conducted by the Ministry of Health in 2015, whose results revealed the poor learning environment and living conditions that contributed to low enrollment and high attrition of medical students, the World Bank Country Manager pointed out. The assessment findings included: unstable electricity and internet; lack of a skills lab to learn through hands-on practice; and, overcrowded dormitories with no desks or tables for studying. Previously, 18 students were housed in each 3-bedroom apartment, with 6 students sharing a bedroom, and all 18 students sharing one bathroom with no running water. Therefore, the new dormitory and skills laboratory project was commissioned on December 20, 2018 to address these bottlenecks.
Following commissioning of the dormitory, Dr. Nthara said there were further requests from the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and the Ministry of Health for procurement of transformer to power the dormitory, and vehicles to convey students and faculties who are not currently accommodated on site to ensure fulfillment of the objectives of the initial support provided by the World Bank. The Bank’s Country Manager then expressed happiness that the World Bank has once again responded to these requests. He has meanwhile appealed to the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine and MoH to ensure proper maintenance of the vehicles and the dormitories to serve the purpose for which they were procured.
Receiving the keys to the vehicles, Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah thanked the World Bank for providing the buses, which was in fulfillment of the Bank’s promise made a year ago. Minister Jallah praised the bank for supporting the Health Workforce Program (HWP) which is one of the key pillars of the Ministry of Health’s Investment Plan for a Resilient Health System. She commended the World Bank also for providing immense support for infrastructure development which is an integral part of workforce development.
Dr. Moses Zinnah, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Forestry, University who represented University of Liberia President, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, Jr., thanked the Bank and Ministry of Health for the vehicles. Dr. Zinnah added that the vehicles will aid both faculty and students of the A.M. Dogliotti College of medicine move between Monrovia and the Fendall Campus for classes and John F. Kennedy Hospital for their teaching, learning and clinical rotations.
According to Dr. Zinnah, “the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine was founded in 1968 was once considered a model for medical training in West Africa.” He added that economic constraints, political turmoil and disease outbreaks have taken a toll on the medical school, impeding the quality of medical education and sometimes jeopardizing the school’s very existence. He then praised the heroic dedication of the faculty, administrators and students which is leading to school to continue training doctors for Liberia.
The handover ceremony was attended by Dr. Bernice Dahn, Vice President for Health Sciences, University of Liberia, Madam Norwu Howard, Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Health, Matthew Flomo, Project Manager and other senior officials of the Ministry of Health.