By Sileshi Yilma & Shemsedin Mohammed/ Public &International Relations Directorate

Haramaya University’s College of Health and Medical Sciences (CHMS) received a donation of over 1,200 books from the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) project.

The books, which cost over 1.2 million Birr, were selected based on the on the request and the list submitted by the College to MEPI, according to Dr. Tekabe Abdosh, lecturer at CHMS and coordinator of MEPI.

“The books are recent editions and are vital for students from freshman up to year six,” Dr. Tekabe underlined adding that the donation would enable CHMS to bridge the gap of book shortage by 85%.

The books include various topics from basic science to clinical medicine, to mention a few. Similar donation of books was offered by MEPI to the College three years back.

CHMS has two major projects in connection to books. The first project, according to Dr. Tekabe, is to establish an electronic library which contains 100 interconnected computers.

“All the necessary study has been finalized to realize the electronic library and a tender has been floated,” he told HU Online.

Another project the College visions to materialize targets the usage of tablets. It plans to buy affordable tablets, which cost around 1,800 Birr, upload text books on the tablet and then distribute the devices to students.

“students would own the tablets and start paying back by the time they reach internship stage as they start  receiving salary by then,” Dr. Tekabe explains adding that the income collected from students would be used to buy another round of tablets for upcoming batches.

According to the information stated on the website of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), MEPI supports foreign institutions in Sub-Saharan African countries that receive support from PEPFAR and its partners to develop or expand and enhance models of medical education. These models are intended to support PEPFAR’s goal of increasing the number of new health care workers by 140,000, strengthen medical education systems in the countries in which they exist, and build clinical and research capacity in Africa as part of a retention strategy for faculty of medical schools and clinical professors.

MEPI has awarded grants to African institutions in various countries, forming a network including 30 regional partners, country health and education ministries, and more than 20 U.S. collaborators.

In Ethiopia, MEPI through Center for Disease Control (CDC) has formed a consortium among four local universities, one of which is Haramaya University. It is now four years since the MEPI project started its partnership with the four institutions.