MEDICAL SCHOOL STUDENT LEADER PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR GRADUATE UPLIFTMENT PLAN
2009/10/22 10:50:36 AM
From left: Mr Nolton Jeque, Representative from the Catholic University, Beira; Mr Ivan Afonso, president of IFMSA-Mozambique; Mr Khaizer Bhagus, Vice-President IFMSA-Mozambique; Miss Mathabo Hlahane, President SAMSA and Professor Mamudo R Ismail, Dean of the Edward Mondlane Medical School in Maputo.
A student leader at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Ms Mathabo Hlahane, pledged her support for a plan aimed at improving the quality of graduates at medical schools across the South African Development Community (SADC) region during her participation in a Conference in Mozambique recently.
Students from Mozambique’s four medical schools invited the fourth year medical student and President of the South African Medical Students’ Association to participate in their 1st National Conference of Medical Students Association at the Edward Mondlane Medical School in Maputo.
Ms Hlahane, who is also the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association’s (IFMSA) Vice-President for External Affairs in Africa, contributed to the five-day Conference by facilitating training programmes on Communication in Leadership and Team Building aimed at strengthening the leadership skills of medical students in preparation for healthcare settings.
Ms Hlahane who has actively engaged with student leaders at medical schools in the SADC region since 2007 after participating in a relief mission for Mozambiquan flood victims, signed a declaration as a representative of the South African Medical Students’ Association supporting a plan to enhance the quality of education received by medical students in SADC countries.
According to Ms Hlahane, students took this proactive step in an attempt to address what they consider weaknesses in the training of medical students at certain SADC countries.
“The health infrastructure at some SADC countries are poor compared to others resulting in inadequacies in the clinical training certain students within the region may receive,” said Ms Hlahane.
In supporting the declaration, students’ suggestions for the way forward in addressing existing challenges included: increasing exchange programmes for medical students to certain SADC countries that will ensure they acquire experience in treating various diseases and continual dialogue among SADC-based medical student organisations to overcome challenges. Ms Hlahane said while participating in the Conference she had accrued a wealth of knowledge about the medical profession in Mozambique.
“My experience in Mozambique has helped me become more culturally aware, understand the backgrounds of people and their reasons for seeking alternate treatments prior to visiting a hospital. The Conference has also given me a better understanding of how certain conditions or ailments are treated and I had the privilege of interacting with a Dean of a Medical School in Mozambique which was inspiring and added value to the work that medical student representatives were carrying out,” said Ms Hlahane.