The University of L i b e r i a  o n  W e d n e s d a y  December 11, 2019, graduated 37 Doctors of Medicine, 14 Pharmacists, 30 Nurses and 14 Midwives following the taking of their oaths during the Oaths and Honors program held recently on the Fendall campus of the University of Liberia (UL). Like other professions, the taking of oath in the medical field is to seek God to witness to the truth of what a medical practitioner pledges to execute by promising to uphold the sacredness and confidentiality of the medical profession. The event was part of activities marking the observance of the UL Centennial Commencement

Convocation that took place on Wednesday, December 11 2019 at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville. The health practitioners are expected to take up assignment in various health facilities across the country upon completion of their studies in fulfillment of a M e m o r a n d u m o f Understanding (MOU) signed between the Government of Liberia and the University of Liberia. GOL and partners are providing support to the University of Liberia’s College of Health Sciences i n c l u d i n g f r e e accommodation and a monthly stipend to the students during their period of study. Liberia’s health sector was badly devastated in 2014 by the Ebola epidemic that swept across the sub region recording approximately 5,000 persons, some of them medical doctors, nurses and other health practitioners. Even now, according to the Ministry of Health Annual Health Conference Performance Report 2019, the sector needs trained personnel to confront the huge challenges, especially on services bothering on individual field of study, patient safety, irrational use of medication, poor patient management and quality of care. The report states “Above all the growing cases of complex medical conditions such as Ovarian and Cervical Cancer, NCDs and other disease condition requiring surgical intervention, only competent medical workers can redeem us.” Delivering the keynote address at the program, Deputy Health Minister for Planning and Research, Varfee Tulay reminded the honorees of the critical role they need to offer, emphasizing, “We need more and more medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses and midwives to contend with the growing health care problems.”

“Your collective leadership, professionalism, and innovations are critically needed at this time of our national development and history,” he cautioned. Minister Tulay spoke on the topic “What does your oath mean to you?” In a rather response to the rhetorical question asked, Mr. Tulay stated: “If your answer to my question is the affirmative, please accept my congratulations, but if it is the negative, then it is not too late to pursue other professional careers.” Mr. Tulay gave a background of each of the oaths administered to the graduates commencing with the Oath of Hippocratic, the Oath of Memonides, and the Nightingale Pledge. To the Doctors of Medicine, he reminded them, saying: “Use the treatment to help the sick according to their ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing.” To the Nurses and Midwives, he cautioned them “Abstain from whatever that is deleterious (harmful) and mischievous and to zealously seek to

nurse those who are wherever they may be and whenever they may be need.” To the Pharmacists, he expressed hope that “They may never see the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain. May you have the strength, time and opportunity to correct what they have acquired, always to extend its domain, for knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefinitely to enrich daily new requirements.” Min. Tulay concluded his address with a borrowed quote from Va Clav Havel (1936-2011), saying: “Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up to the step; we must step up the stairs.” Speaking earlier, VP for Health Sciences Dr. Bernice Dahn congratulated the honorees and expressed optimism that they will uphold the true meaning of their respective oaths. “Everyone looks to the ay that he/she will take the oath pledging their commitment to serve humanity and be held accountable to the medical profession,” Dr. Dahn stated. Also speaking, UL President Dr. Julius S. Nelson further reassured the

Government of Liberia, and partners of the university’s continuous collaboration to train more medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives and other health practitioners to enhance the delivery of quality health services in Liberia. Dr. Nelson thanked the Government of Liberia and its partners and expressed optimism that the University of Liberia will continue to receive more support in order to train more qualified doctors and other health workers. Honors and academic awards were given to outstanding faculty, staff and students at the event, including former VP for Health Sciences, Prof. Dr. Vuyu Kanda Golakai, as Special Elders of Nursing and Midwifery; Dr. Lawrence Mombo Sherman, Clinical Coordinator of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, as Medical Elder; Ms. Deddeh M. Baysah Antoine, Executive Assistant to the College of Health Sciences, as outstanding administrator in the college.