French | English
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
Editorial Note. The Aristide Foundation University (UNIFA) Faculty of Medicine at Tabarre resumed its activities this week. Since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced out of Haiti in February 2004, until 2008, the university students had been replaced by foreign troops, and the facilities had not operated as a university. In addition, the facilities of the Faculty of Medicine were damaged by the earthquake of January 12, 2010. The reopening of the UNIFA Faculty of Medicine and formation of new doctors represent important contributions of the Aristide Foundation to Haiti. DC
Port-au-Prince – The Aristide Foundation University (UNIFA) at Tabarre (north of the capital) resumes its activities on Tuesday September 27th. Classes start first at the Faculty of Medicine of UNIFA after the Friday announcement of the entrance examination results. One hundred and twenty-six students passed the exam from among a large registry of students from 1000 different schools of the capital and provinces.
The President-elect of the Haitian Medical Association, Dr. Ginette Lubin River, is the dean of the faculty. Courses will be taught by Haitian and Cuban teachers. The medical students will start their study with an intensive course in Spanish.
A source close to UNIFA told AHP that physician/anthropologist Paul Farmer contributed significantly to the reopening the medical school. He will also give the medical students the chance to gain practical experience at the organization Zanmi Lasante Hospital of Mirebalais (center).
Dr. Farmer, who hails from Harvard University, still teaches today. He is committed to fostering institutional links between his alma mater in Cambridge (MA) and UNIFA.
UNIFA was founded in 2001 and welcomed its first medical students the same year. Initially its Dean was Dr. Yves Polynices, who had discontinued his activities in Germany.
The University had to suspend operating after the events of February 2004. Following the forced departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the students were practically chased out and replaced by contingents of foreign troops. The medical students were finally welcomed in Cuba to continue their studies.
Asked about rumors that President Aristide would make a statement to inaugurate the reopening of the Faculty of Medicine at UNIFA, a source close to the institution indicated he had no information on this.
“President Aristide told me he does not know the origin of this rumor,”
said this source, who emphasized that the former president was absorbed by the work and has had his nose to the grindstone to make the reopening of the Faculty of Medicine a major success.
© Copyright 2011. This material is available for republication as long as reprints include a verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints of the English translation must cite the author, Dady Chery and Haiti Chery, and include a “live link” to the article.
UNIFA Medical School Reopens
By Laura Flynn
Tabarre, January 18, 2012 – On September 26, 2011 the Medical School of UNIFA (the University of the Aristide Foundation) officially reopened its doors to a new class of future Haitian doctors. Seven years after the school’s forced closure in 2004, and four months after the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti, medical education resumed at UNIFA.
Over the summer of 2011, the Faculty of Medicine (pictured below) was repaired and refurbished after sustaining mild damage in the 2010 quake.
In late August, recruitment of students began. A week-long registration period brought thousands of young applicants to UNIFA and the Aristide Foundation where initial registration was held. Nine hundred students whose grades and scores on the Baccalaureate exam met the minimum requirement went on to take an entrance exam.
From the 900 applicants, 126 students who received the highest test scores were selected.
UNIFA was founded in 2001 in response to the desperate need for more doctors and health professionals in Haiti. A fundamental part of its mission was and is to begin to break down long traditions of exclusion of the poor majority in Haiti from access to higher education. Even before the earthquake there were very few spots in medical schools in Haiti (private or public). Gaining entrance to Medical School was nearly impossible for students without connections or financial means. The earthquake destroyed or severely damaged 80% of the institutions of higher education, most are still struggling to resume full functioning. All of this made the reopening of UNIFA a priority.
Today UNIFA still aims to combat social exclusion by recruiting students from families who have historically been unable to access higher education, from all ten departments of Haiti, and with a commitment to equal gender representation. Without financial support from the public sector, UNIFA can no longer offer Medical education free of charge. However tuition at UNIFA is just one-third of what private medical school in Haiti charge.
On September 26, 2011 Dr Ginette Lubin the new Dean of the Medical School welcomed the new students to the campus.
Classes began the next day. This fall the students completed a 3-month intensive Spanish language program. As was the case before 2004, UNIFA’s medical curriculum is based on the curriculum used in Cuba, which has trained thousands of doctors from Latin America. UniFA’s faculty today consist of a mix of Haitian and Cuban medical and languages specialists. A select group of UniFA alumni, doctors from the original three classes of medical students who went on to complete their medical studies in Cuba after the 2004 coup d’etat, are assisting in the classrooms. The long term goal is that some of these young doctors will go on to get pedagogical training and eventually become faculty members at UNIFA.
After completing the first phase of their language training the new class began the Medical portion of their studies in January 2012. They are expected to complete their studies in three to four years.
The reopening of UNIFA war financially possible due to two generous donations. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health for their steadfast support. We are also grateful to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund for the faith and dedication they have shown to the AFD and to UniFA.
We congratulate this first class of medical students for their success in gaining entry to UNIFA. We salute the sacrifices that they and their families are making to allow them to attend. We also salute the tremendous hard work of everyone involved, the staff and faculty of UNIFA, for coming together, rebuilding and reopening in such a short time.
Source: Aristide Foundation
http://aristidefoundationfordemocracy.org/author/lauraflynn/Par le personel
francais | anglais
Port-au-Prince, le 23 septembre 2011 – L’Université de la “Fondation Docteur Aristide” (UNIFA) reprend ses activités le mardi 27 septembre à Tabarre (nord de la capitale).
Les cours débutent d’abord à la Faculté de médecine de l’UNIFA, après la publication ce vendredi des résultats du concours d’admission.
126 étudiants ont réussi l’examen sur les 1000 inscrits issus de différents établissements scolaires de la capitale et de villes de province.
C’est la présidente élue de l’Association médicale haïtienne, le Docteur Ginette Rivière Lubin qui est la doyenne de ladite faculté.
Les cours seront assurés par des professeurs haïtiens et cubains. Les étudiants en médecine seront soumis au départ à un cours d’espagnol intensif.
Une source proche de l’UNIFA a fait savoir à l’AHP que le médecin/anthropologue Paul Farmer a fourni une contribution significative pour favoriser l’ouverture de la faculté de médecine. De même, il offrira aux étudiants en médecine la possibilité de pratiquer à l’Hopital de Mirebalais (centre) construit par l’organisation Zanmi Lasante.
Le Dr Farmer, un ancien de Harvard University et qui y enseigne encore aujourd’hui, s’est également engagé à favoriser des liens institutionnels entre l’Université du Cambridge (Ma) et l’Université de la “Fondation Docteur Aristide”.
Fondée en 2001, l’UNIFA avaient reçu ses premiers étudiants en médecine la même année, avec comme doyen, le Dr Yves Polynice qui avait alors laissé ses activités en Allemagne.
L’Université avait dû suspendre ses cours suite aux évenements de février 2004. Et les étudiants en avaient pratiquement été chassés pour faire place à des contingents de soldats étrangers après le départ forcé du président Jean Bertrdnd Aristide. Les étudiants en médecine étaient finalement accueillis à Cuba pour y poursuivre leurs cours.
Interrogée sur les rumeurs selon lesquelles le président Aristide prévoirait de faire une déclaration à l’occasion de la réouverture de la fac de médecine de l’Université, une source proche de l’Institution a indiqué ne disposer d’aucune information en ce sens.
“Le président Aristide m’a dit ne pas savoir la provenance de cette rumeur”, a encore fait savoir cette source qui a toutefois souligné que l’ancien président est absorbé par le travail et est au four et au moulin pour faire de la réouverture de la Faculté de médecine une vraie réussite.
Sources: AHP (francais)
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