By Philip Buda Ladu
The Government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia has awarded more scholarships to 29 South Sudanese student doctors to pursue their post-graduate programs on different specialty areas in the field of medicine.
The 29 doctors were among the over 70 practicing South Sudanese medical officers drawn from across the country who sat for an entry exams prepared by professional doctors in Ethiopia to qualify them for about 50 scholarships offered to South Sudanese doctors in Addis Ababa.
The doctors who successfully passed the entry exams to study Masters on different medicine specialty areas in various Ethiopian Universities under sponsorship of the Ethiopian Federal government are expected to travel for their studies next week after they delayed due to logistical issues.
The scholarship are fully funded in which all the tuition fees, accommodations and feeding of the students are catered for by the Ethiopian Government and the Government of South Sudan is tasked to cater for the flight tickets of the students plus some up keeps.
South Sudan and Ethiopia has long term bilateral ties for decades and Ethiopia has offered various capacity building and institutional support to South Sudan in different areas, one of which is the awarding of scholarships to South Sudanese student.
Nabil Mahdi, the Ethiopian Ambassador to South Sudan speaking at a farewell event to see off the new batch of South Sudanese doctors awarded scholarships to pursue post-graduate medical specialty studies in Ethiopia said they will continue support South Sudan human resource development especially in the health sector.
“We have more than 20 strong bilateral relations in different sectors at the Embassy we are working on it especially on human resource development, one of it is human resource capacity building on health sector. Totally since 2015 Ethiopia gave opportunities and the Embassy facilitated about 140 post-graduates program to South Sudanese doctors including the current batch,” Ambassador Nabil affirmed.
The Ethiopian Envoy to Juba underscored that Ethiopia only gives scholarships for post-graduates programs in the specialty field of medicines with exception of undergraduate studies.
He said they have a data that Ethiopia gave scholarship opportunities to over one thousand South Sudanese Students both Undergraduate and Post-graduate programs. Adding, “we are committed to continue working on this field of human development with the concerned South Sudan various government ministries.
The Deputy Secretary for Health Training at the National Ministry of Health underlined that it is not the first time that South Sudan is sending doctors to Ethiopia.
“We have graduated two batches of doctors from different Universities in Ethiopia and we have more than 30 students now doing their specializations in different areas of medical studies in Ethiopia and this is the fourth batch that is going (featured)” he said.
He said the process for the selection of the doctors is always done by Ethiopia whereby the recruitment exams are set in Ethiopia by over 70 doctors and then brought to Juba administered to the candidates by Ethiopian professors taken back to Ethiopia marked there by the experienced doctors and the results send to Juba.
Samuel said out of 78 doctors who sat the entry exams last year in Juba only 29 of the South Sudanese doctors made it through and they are set to travel to Ethiopia awaiting some logistical arrangement from the gov’t in Juba that caters for their flights.
“Very unfortunately at least in January or by the end of last year 2021 most of them (student doctors) would have been in Ethiopia but because we have one, two three challenges that didn’t work out logistically but hopefully by the end of next week most of them who are in Juba we are preparing them to go” Samuel said.
He applauded the generous support from the Government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia in providing the human resources development programs to the South Sudanese.
Dr. Reagan Taban Augustino, the representatives of the South Sudanese doctors on the scholarship to Ethiopia appreciated the Ethiopian Federal Government for granting them the opportunity to further their medical skill in the various specialty areas.
“We as the health community, we value and appreciate these efforts from our brothers in Ethiopia are also we are here to stress the importance of this opportunity in upgrading developing the health sector in South Sudan which reflect in improving the health status of our people” Dr. Taban said. “We want to assure the Ethiopian people and their government and the government of South Sudan our full commitment and respect to all the law and regulations related to the scholarship and also we want to assure our full commitments to complete the studies and return back to apply this knowledge in our Country” he vowed.