(Vienna/Tübingen, 3 July 2017) The Medical University of Vienna is involved as a collaborative partner in the founding of a School of Healthcare in Lambaréné, Gabon. A corresponding agreement between the Government of Gabon and the Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL) research centre was signed by the collaborative partners in Tübingen on 2 July. Other partners are the University and University Hospital of Tübingen and the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF).
The new school will be housed on the CERMEL campus in Lambaréné and is to train future doctors and specialist staff to provide medical care in the central African country. The institution is being sponsored by the State of Gabon and the partner institutions will support the school with research funding amongst other things. CERMEL will operate and administer the school. It is also responsible for the course offering and the teaching staff. CERMEL scientists will play an active role in the education process. The University of Tübingen and MedUni Vienna, as well as the DZIF, will organise scholarship schemes at German and Austrian institutions and promote the exchange of students and teachers.
The education and further education of its people is one of the major strategic goals for the government of Gabon. The school should further this aim and should improve the performance of the healthcare system in the area of medical research. "The State of Gabon has committed itself to a policy of sustainable development in the healthcare system. In order to achieve these goals, Gabon is investing in the training of specialist staff and in medical research, in close collaboration with strong partners," said Léon Nzouba, Minister of Health and Public Affairs in Gabon. "We hope that this school will create a model for the whole of Africa, especially in the area of scientific and technical collaboration."
"We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with Lambaréné and Tübingen in the form of the State School for Healthcare in Gabon," said Markus Müller, Rector of the Medical University of Vienna. "The partnership agreement forms the basis for cross-fertilisation and is an ideal platform for exchanging the latest know-how."
"The School will supplement CERMEL's research activities to include education. We will train students and postgraduates from many different countries, Africa and, of course, Gabon in particular," said Peter Kremsner from the Tübingen Institute for Tropical Medicine and the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) and President of the Administrative Board of CERMEL.
"Staff who are well-trained in healthcare and medical research are the foundation of an efficient healthcare system. Experienced teachers and trainers from Tübingen can help by providing concrete input into curricula, training modules and training courses. In this way we will be contributing to the professional qualification and, in the long term, to the better medical care of the population," said Michael Bamberg, Senior Medical Director of the University Hospital, summing up Tübingen's involvement.
"By means of this close collaboration with the new School of Healthcare, the University of Tübingen is strengthening its international cooperation with Gabon while, at the same time, taking social responsibility. The training of medical staff and future managers is important to ensure a stable healthcare system," explained Bernd Engler, Rector of the University of Tübingen.