Tell the nation the truth, Cornelius Weyulu

The Russian Alumni Association of Namibia (RAAN) is deeply aggrieved by your statement concerning the performance of foreign-trained medical graduates in the contested Pre-Internship test. Your statement, and by extension that of the Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) is not only defamatory in nature, it is also very misleading to the nation and was found to be made in bad faith by all measures.

According to your statement, In The Namibian newspaper of 18/02/2019, Experience has shown that medical graduates who studied in (Eastern) Europe are poorly trained. To be frank, many of the graduates from (Eastern) European universities and China are of poor quality. They have been found wanting as interns in many a respect.

In the same article, you were further quoted as follows: due to the poor nature of their training, graduates trained in (Eastern) Europe and China would not do serious hard work. Most of them cannot. They are not qualified to do serious hard work. [] As a result, other students from decent universities would do double work to cater for the gap created by the incompetence of the European and Chinese-trained students.

It appears that that The Namibian newspaper sourced these statements from an affidavit you filed with the High Court in respect of the urgent application that was launched by the graduates to interdict the scheduled Pre-Internship Test. In analysing the said affidavit, we are not sure whether you deliberately intended to use your office to misinform and mislead the Honourable Court and by extension the nation at large or, you simply chose to be insensitive and ignorant. In both cases, we find it very distasteful for you to use public office to collectively defame graduates of the said universities and by so doing shun their knowledge and their service to this nation.

Equally so, with your unwarranted attack on our knowledge and integrity, you, speaking from public office, do not seem to have an appreciation of the damage you could cause to the cordial bilateral relations and agreements that exist between Namibia, Russia, its former soviet Republics and China.

While acknowledging that there are private students among those that you are so loudly vilifying for studying in the said countries, we also know that many of these students studied in the said countries through scholarships that are a product of long-standing bilateral agreements. It is safe to say you were too fascinated with throwing insults around and vilifying these soldiers of our current struggle to know that.

In light of the contents of the article mentioned herein and indeed in the interest of the nation at large, RAAN took the liberty to not only correct you but also to educate and highlight the following facts regarding the competence of Russian/ Ukrainian-Namibian trained Professionals, who, despite having graduated from the not decent universities according to you, are champions and leaders of industry and serving this nation selflessly. RAAN will leave it to the nation to pass judgement.

1. The Head of casualty departments at both Katutura State Hospital and Oshakati Intermediate Hospitals are both proudly young Russian-trained Medical Officers. We will deliberately refrain from emphasizing the huge responsibility that comes with that department entrusted to these gallant Heroines of our time.

2. The Medical Superintendent of Rundu, Medical Superintendent of Oshakati and Medical Superintendent of Keetmanshoop state hospitals are all Russian-trained doctors.

3. The Founding Coordinator of the National Medical Outreach Services (NMOS) program is a Russian-trained young Medical Officer, who distinguished himself exceptionally well in that role.

4. Among the group of the much-needed specializing Medical Doctors in countries such as South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, are Russian-trained doctors who successfully went through internship, served our people as MOs before soldiering on to become specialists in various fields. They are simply a batch of many of our Russian/Ukrainian-trained specialists already serving as consultants in our hospitals.

5. We, proudly so, also succumb to the temptation to remind you that your line Minister, who served the ministry at a every level, from Medical Officer, Head of Department, Medical Superintendent, Regional Director, Permanent Secretary and recently called to national duty to serve as the Honourable Minister, is a Russian graduate from one of the not decent universities that we too graduated from.

6. We, like all Namibians of progressive tune, are very proud of UNAM School of Medicine. Be that as it may, we also acknowledge that it is in its early infancy, both in terms of human capacity, infrastructure and experience when compared to the universities being dubbed not decent by your person. We will however not give in to the temptation to question where you got the authority and the qualifications that rendered you competent to rate universities.

To that end, the UNAM School of Medicine receives Professors of medicine from Universities in Russia (which according to you are not decent) to assist UNAM in lecturing subjects like physiology and pathology. You, in your embarrassing episode of ignorance, conveniently forgot this. The basis of this cooperation is derived from a Joint Declaration of Cooperation signed on the 03.02.2010 on behalf of the Namibian people by Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma between the People's Friendship University of Russia and UNAM. We will submit this declaration to your office for your reference in future when it slides back into selective amnesia.

7. A Namibian delegation to Russia and Ukraine in 2013 headed by the then Minister of Education Hon. Dr. David Namwandi, who is an academic of note himself, visited most of the universities where our graduates were trained. The delegation included delegates from the UNAM School of Medicine, Health Professions Council (HPCNA), Namibia Students Assistance Fund (NSFAF), Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA). Mr Weyulu formed part of this delegation. The mission was for the delegation to become familiar with the education systems of these countries and foster better understanding of their training programs.

Upon conclusion of this visit, Dr Vetja Haakuria, the Deputy Associate Dean of the Namibian School of Pharmacy reported: I was very impressed with the level of discipline of students and the passion that lecturers have for their work. They were all committed to their craft. They were equally proud of their long history of achievement. Further in his report, Dr Haakuria noted the strong collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry of the Kharkov National University of Pharmacy on research and student placement, an example he recommended UNAM to emulate. These are some of the universities that you Mr Weyulu feel are not decent.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia