The School of Medicine of the National University of Samoa commence the year 2019 with a brand new look. It is the first time the School has on board a full teaching team who are not only highly qualified in their respective field of specialty but are also research fellows in their respective research interests.
Additionally, the School has accomplished new working relationships with partnering Universities which includes the University of Otago, NZ, Yale and Brown University, USA, Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS) and the NUS Faculty of Science for joint teaching and research in medicine and health sciences.
In late 2018, the University has made several appointments which included the recruitment of Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma as the Founding Professor for the School. Aiono is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology who has a joint appointment for teaching and research at the University of Otago and the National University of Samoa. Two other specialists were recruited shortly after. Asiata Dr Satupa’itea Viali was appointed to teach Cardiovascular diseases and Dr Osborne Nyandiva who is a specialist in pathology and oncology.
Earlier in the month, Lawal Olantunde Olayemi was recruited as one of the Senior Lecturers for Microbiology and Epidemiology. Mr Olayemi holds the qualifications of Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science with Honours from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria, a Master of Science in Medical Microbiology from the University of Lagos and a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Laboratory from Kriger Research Center, Ontario, Canada. He is currently studying towards a PhD in Public Health focusing on infectious disease epidemiology at Walden University, USA.
Since its establishment, the School has had the tremendous support for teaching and learning from the University of Otago, Faculty of Health Sciences. Two other international Universities are now partaking in this collaboration as well as our very own Scientific Research Organization.
In realization for accreditation, the School of Medicine has had continuous support and advice from the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) which has tasked the Western Pacific Association for Medical Education (WPAME) to oversee the progress of the School to achieve its objectives as envisioned by WHO as accredited medical programmes under the World Medical Directory. This enables the facilitation of local accreditation by the Samoa Qualification Authority.
The number of students admitted in the medical programme is another major achievement for the School. For the year 2019, thirteen students have been accepted into the programme. Three of which are international students from Australia and Solomon Islands. Two students are graduate students with Bachelor Degrees from the University of Otago and Monarsh University in Australia. The new admission counts to six international students who will be studying medicine at NUS.
The establishment of the national digital library is one of the exciting new developments that will benefit greatly students and staff of the School of Medicine. Some of the medical courses which will be taught jointly by partnering Universities are delivered online and this is an opportune time for this project for knowledge sharing and capacity building.
The National University of Samoa strives to positioned its Faculty of Health Sciences and School of Medicine in a global map through energetic efforts of dedicated teaching and administrative staff which are well supported by well-respected local and international partnering institutions.