On October 1, 2012, the Medical School at UNIFA began its second academic year. A new video highlights UNIFA’s progress and goals.
Two hundred and fifty-four candidates successfully passed the admissions exam and were accepted as first year medical students. One hundred and eighteen second year students returned to campus for their second year of studies (out of a total of 126 students who began in the fall of 2011). A dozen new teachers joined the teaching staff, raising the faculty’s total teaching staff to over 18.
UNIFA offeres a full complement of science and medical coursework. Language study (French, English and Spanish) continue to be requirements.
UNIFA was able to offer all second year medical students a partial scholarship to assist with their tuition. A memo from the Office of the UNIFA President, Dr. Aristide, informed students that it was indeed the university’s goals to seek out scholarship aid for its students, as it announced this response to needs impatiently expressed by students.
UNIFA offered all second year medical students a partial scholarship. A memo from the Office of the UNIFA President, Dr. Aristide, informed students that it was indeed the university’s goals to seek out scholarship aid for its students, as it announced this response to needs impatiently expressed by students.
Thanks to generous fundraising efforts in the US sponsored by the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund and Partnership for Education, Health and Democracy in Haiti, significant improvements were able to be made on campus: the auditorium was renovated; electric and plumbing infrastructure in the classroom building was repaired; new student desks were purchased; benches and outdoor seating were installed under shaded trees in the courtyards around the Medical School.
SCHOOL OF NURSING
In early November 2012, the UNIFA launched its new nursing program. Haiti faces an acute nursing shortage, exaccerbated when hundred new graduates of the state’s nursing school were killed in the January 2010 earthquake. UNIFA’s nursing program aims to address this shortage. UNIFA admitted 73 first year nursing students to its program. These students will complete a 4- year nursing program. Five additional teachers joined UINFA’s teaching staff, while faculty from the medical school covers some core courses like chemistry and anatomy. A simulated nurse’s practice room is being set up on campus. In November, UNIFA held exploratory meetings with two US nursing schools to explore collaborative programs.
During the fall semester Dr. James Hudspeth, an instructor in Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, conducted a week long seminar to the second year students focused on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. These two diseases are very common in Haiti, and are an important source of illness for doctors working in any aspect of medicine to know about. The students learned essential information about both diseases, including molecular biology, epidemiology, history, diagnosis, prevention, and therapy. This information will inform their subsequent 4 years of study and helps to frame a number of the other illnesses they will learn of in the years to come.
After classes, Dr. Hudspeth spent time with students, extending class discussions.
During the week, Dr. Hudspeth was housed on campus at one of the professor’s residences refurbished last year and set aside for visiting instructors. His visit is part of UNIFA’s partnership with the Boston-based health organization Physicians for Haiti. The group has a going a data bank of of physicians, nurses and instructors interested in teaching at UNIFA. Four more visiting faculty will offer courses in the Spring of 2013.