Windhoek-The University of Namibia (Unam) has graduated a batch of field epidemiologists, who will be instrumental in responding and containing virus outbreaks in the country, such as the Congo Fever, anthrax and hepatitis E.
It is the third time that the university has graduated epidemiologists since 2016. Last year, one epidemiologist graduated. Unam also graduated, for the first time, a financial mathematician.
Unam started its series of graduations on Thursday where 563 students from the faculties of Education, Humanities and Social Services successfully exited the institution after years of hard work. It also graduated about 468 students from the faculties of Law, Economics and Management on Thursday.
During the entire 2018 graduation season, which will end in May, the university is expecting to graduate its highest number yet, over 3,812 total graduates from 22 nationalities.
This year, Unam produced the highest number of PhDs – 26 in total and over 100 Master’s degree graduates. Unam also graduated seven graduates with a Master of Science in Applied Field Epidemiology.
It also produced 169 Namibian trained medical doctors in three years – of which 79 graduated this year, and 55 finished in 2017 while 35 graduated during 2016.
On Friday, Unam chancellor, Dr Nangolo Mbumba, conferred a number of PhDs and Master’s degrees in agriculture and natural resources, health sciences (including the schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health) and science (including computing and military science).
“I am pleased to note that this year, we have a high number of medical doctors which have since doubled from the initial 35 in 2016. Similarly, the enrolment numbers at the school of health sciences (pharmacists, nurses and other health care providers), also increased tremendously from the first intake of 57 to the present 484,” Mbumba said.
Mbumba also conferred the first Master of Pharmacy in Clinical Pharmacy. Currently, there are only two clinical pharmacists in Namibia.
He said agriculture forms the foundation of any thriving economy, adding that Unam is once more rendering a welcome contribution in this area, which would strengthen the country’s capacity for food security.
For Master’s degree graduates in Military Science, he said they schooled theory for the gradual transformation on Namibia’s armed forces into a modern institution capable of defending the nation and its territorial boundaries against new types of threats such as cybercrime and artificial intelligence innovations such as covert armed drones.