By REBECCA MUSHOTA-
THE Copperbelt University (CBU) has started construction of The School of Medicine campus infrastructure.
The university yesterday launched the beginning of the construction of the campus infrastructure at the 52 hectares site off the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway in Ndola.
CBU vice-chancellor Naison Ngoma said the Jewish community in Zambia donated US$1 million that necessitated the beginning of the construction of the health training facility, a 500 bed capacity hospital and hostels capable of hosting 1,000 students.
Professor Ngoma said the donation by the Jewish community council was appreciated and was made possible because of Government’s commitment to provide an enabling environment for investors to pump into education.
The construction of the campus infrastructure would cost $150 million
Prof Ngoma said the school, which was the only other medical school in Zambia, currently had 225 students undertaking graduate programmes and 10 students undertaking 10 post graduating courses.
He said CBU was looking for partners to partner it in building the campus which would help produce medical graduates that would contribute to effective health delivery from 2016.
The council of the Jewish community chairperson Michael Galaun said Jews had a long history of giving back to society from the time their businesses started flourishing.
Mr Galaun said the Jewish community would not only donate funds for construction but also facilitate a linkage between the CBU medical school and the Tel Aviv University school of medicine.
Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge said Government was optimistic that once CBU medical students start graduating, there would be an increase of graduating doctors per year by 50 per cent to help reduce the current doctor-patient ratio which was one doctor for every 17,000 patients instead of the recommended one doctor for every 10,000 patients.
“The current numbers of doctors are over worked and this has contributed to brain drain. The country records 2.7 per cent population growth per year putting pressure on the few doctors the country has,” Mr Musenge said.
He said he was happy that the Jewish community were the first to contribute to the construction of the university and that their support would be remembered for many years.