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Government Ministers officially open and lay Foundation Stone of CATUC’s School of Health and Medical Sciences

Ministers of Higher Education and that of Health, Jacques Fame Ndongo and Andre Mama Fouda respectively, have presided at the official opening of the School of Health and Medical Sciences of the Catholic University of Cameroon, CATUC, Bamenda. The twin event took place Thursday November 10, 2016 at the Kumbo campus of the university.

The crowd-puller events began with a Holy Mass at the Catholic Church Tobin, at the which the
Chancellor of  CATUC and Archbishop of Bamenda, His Grace Cornelius Esua was main celebrant, while Mgr. George of Kumbo, Mgr. Andrew Nkea of Mamfe and Mgr. Agapitus Nfon together with 30 other priests were co celebrants.

In his homily, Archbishop Esua among several things said the readings of the day were reminders that God is the source of all wisdom which begins with the fear of the Lord. He urged all present to constantly seek Guidance of the Holy Spirit in all endeavours especially academic endeavours. He added that everyone has an obligation to develop the talents God has endowed them with. The prelate lamented the fact that most often people forget that they are not the source of the knowledge they have. He then explained that God gives gifts not for the self but for the service of others. The Archbishop then pointed out that what had converged so many people on Kumbo that day concerned the gift of healing which was a fundamental aspect in Jesus’ ministry. Like the disciples in the day’s Gospel whom the Lord sent out to heal, Christ was equally giving out a similar assignment today because it is an integral part of the church’s evangelization mission. From a Christian perspective he added, medicine and healing are very important because God had demonstrated His concern for everyone’s wellbeing through Jesus’ healing ministry. The preacher noted that from time immemorial the church’s mission of evangelization is meant for the whole person because it is important for people to be healthy. He went on to explain that the purpose of CATUC’s school of medicine is to train health personnel whose performance shall be likened more to a vocation than a profession. He upheld Pope St. John Paul II’s gospel of life favoring the culture of life over the culture of death adding that the responsibility of health care providers is to be pro-life. The Archbishop further explained that Catholic Health Care workers are described as “Ministers of Life” and so should take care of and protect life. In conclusion he told the medical students that theirs is an exalting and challenging mission.

Straight after homily, the newly appointed
Provost of the School of Health and Medical Sciences, Prof. Josephine Nbuagbaw took a solemn oath of office right on the altar. She read out and signed her pledge to function in keeping with the rules in force. The Pro Chancellor and the Chancellor equally appended their signatures to the document.

Part two of the ceremony took place on the campus to where the congregation retreated to wait for the Ministers who made a courtesy call to the Fon of Nso’. Several speeches characterized this second part in the auditorium of the university. The
Deputy Mayor of Kumbo and the Archbishop of Bamenda took the cue. Both hailed the Catholic Church for owning and running renowned schools in the country. The Archbishop requested the Higher Education Minister to grant more chances for admission in to the medical school such Priests and Religious could equally be trained as medical doctors. At the end of his speech gifts of Papal Awards and traditional stools were offered the Ministers.

Minister Andre Mama Fouda on his part noted that the training of health personnel   CATUC’s Kumbo campus is going to contribute to meeting Cameroon’s health challenges. According to him the school is one with a difference because following the Catholic tradition of excellence, she will produce excellent health workers. He then enjoined the Medical students to take their studies seriously.
The speech of the Minister of Health culminated in the administration of the matriculation pledge on the newly freshmen of the medical school.
Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo presided at this brief albeit very solemn ceremony. Having declared the freshmen matriculated the Minister in his address said that if CATUC got the accreditation to run a medical school it was because she met all conditions required. Jacques Fame Ndongo used the occasion to urge CATUC staff to work in collaboration with the National Medical Council to fine tune the training of Medical doctors to meet the standards prescribed by the state.

At the end of his speech, he and his entourage moved over to the classroom block where he cut a ribbon to indicate the schools official opening. The two Ministers and the Bishops then drove over to the little village of Melim to lay the foundation stone of the actual site of CATUC’s School of Health and Medical Sciences, thus bringing to an end the visit of these state officials.   

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