National University Of Science & Technology

Faculty Of Medicine

Get Adobe Flash player

Welcome to the Faculty website. The Faculty of Medicine is the sixth faculty to be established by the University. Unfortunately, its establishment coincided with the difficult period of a very serious brain- drain and an economic melt-down. Both these factors presented up-hill struggles for recruiting staff as well as for making various purchases required for the programme. As a result, progress was measured in fits and starts, and, indeed, from time to time there were noticeable negative steps. Through sheer persistence the Faculty somehow remained afloat and has significantly increased its staff establishment.

The MBBS programme

History

Zimbabwe has been facing challenges with the adequacy of health personnel, including doctors.  The Presidential Commission of Health (March 1999) recommended that the only viable and long-term solution was to become self-sufficient with the production of health workers. One way was to increase the possibility of training doctors by establishing a second medical school. Thus the Bulawayo College of Health Sciences (BCHS) was established as a college of the College of Health Sciences (formerly called the School of Medicine), University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Harare. However, in 2003 the BCHS closed down and its operations were absorbed into the mother college at UZ. Following consultative meetings by the Steering Committee the NUST Medical School was instituted late 2004, and did inherit some of the assets of the BCHS being the renovated laboratories at Mpilo Hospital and some laboratory and office equipment. 

Admission of medical students

The first group of 18 students were admitted in February, 2005 and a second group (of 17 students) during the normal admission time in August of the same year. These students eventually completed their training in Zambia and Malawi respectively.  Following the registration of the School in 2012, a third group of 25 students was admitted in August 2012, and a fourth group in August 2013 

Regulatory aspects

In Zimbabwe the regulatory authority for doctors is the Medical & Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe (MDPCZ). The Council ensures adequacy of training institutions as well as good practice by the doctors. Following a number of inspection visits the Medical Council pointed out that the staffing situation at the NUST Medical School was not ideal, a situation by no means unique to NUST.  In 2010 the Council had determined that the NUST students should successfully write a set of registration examinations in order to enable them to practise as doctors. These examinations would be written after the students had passed the final examinations of the NUST MBBS programme. However, the students chose to go and complete their studies elsewhere. The first group all graduated from the University of Zambia and the students in the second group graduated from the medical school in Malawi. Currently, the sole graduate of the School awaits re-assessment for registration purposes.Concerted efforts have been, and continue to be made to secure the services of lecturers. Although the brain drain and the macroeconomic environment both militate against these efforts, notable progress has been made. 

The MSc degree programme in Midwifery Education 

In 2012 the University approved the regulations for the first post-graduate programme in the Faculty, the Master of Science degree in Midwifery Education. During the subsequent year the programme was approved by the Nursing Council as well as by the Council for Higher Education. The programme was instituted at the behest of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare as part of a multi-pronged response to alarmingly high maternal mortality rates. Twelve students were admitted into the programme in 2013 and should complete the programme by December 2014. 

The School seeks to widen and strengthen all possible efforts to secure staff and thus enable effective teaching and learning as well as research. The NUST Medical School remains committed to contribute to the national goal of increasing the prospects of training doctors and other essential health-care workers.Strategic partnerships to support teaching and learning, to support research as well as community outreach activities are most welcome. 

                                                                                              

DEAN