US Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy visited the University of Liberia Fendell campus on Friday, November 12th, to celebrate the closing of the inaugural xSEL Science Camp and the launch of the newly designed medical school curriculum, the effort of a partnership between the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, the U.S. Government, and U.S. universities.
Ambassador McCarthy joined Acting University of Liberia President Dr. Moses Moroe Zinnah, Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Bernice Dahn, and Acting Dean of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine Dr. Lawrence Sherman in commemorating this U.S.-Liberia partnership to strengthen the Liberia healthcare system.
The xSEL Science Camp was designed by the USAID-supported Bringing Research to Impact for Development, Global Engagement, and Utilization (BRIDGE-U) partnership activity. It is designed to prepare young Liberians, especially girls, to pursue higher education in science via a 5-week annual summer camp program that provides 21st century tools to approach science. This inaugural camp started in early October 2021 with the first cohort of 87 students.
The U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, an office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, assisted in the design of the new medical school curriculum for the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine. Funding originated through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, and was administered though HRSA’s implementing partner, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). The Yale University School of Medicine is also part of the BWH consortium and supported much of this work. The new curriculum was designed to increase retention by shortening the length of undergraduate medical education from 9 to 7 years and improve the quality of training by adopting an integrated, systems-based approach, the global standard. A 5-year strategic plan for the medical school, also supported through this effort, led to additional innovations and supporting activities, such as Camp xSEL.
Ambassador McCarthy, in his remarks, noted how collaboration is the key to success in the health sector: “These projects are models of innovation and impact, demonstrating the tremendous change we can achieve through partnership and collaboration. Our U.S. universities and other partners are working side-by-side with your University of Liberia and Tubman University, just as we at the U.S. Embassy work side-by-side with the Ministry of Health to reimagine medical education in Liberia.”