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Higher medical education in Germany

Revisiting the status of Medical Education and Scientific Research in

Dr. Ambereen Sleemi (second from the left) traveled to Eritrea to help start an obstetrics training program. Here she relaxes in the new ward with Dr. Haile Habte Melecot (from left), a resident student and Dr Dawit Sereke.Nature Magazine has published a defamatory article on Eritrea (Nature News/Feature, 31 October, 2012) entitled “”.

For reasons that defy explanation, the author, Ms. Shanta Barley, went on a rampage to confuse facts with fiction, truth with false, and science with politics to infer, in a rather shoddy manner, that “Eritrea was making promising strides in medicine…before the government clamped down on its foreign partnerships”.

Ms. Barley had earlier informed the Orotta School of Medicine about her intentions of writing an article on the subject in order to, in her own words:

“let the world know that science is far more advanced in Eritrea than most people realize, [and] the reality is that the past decade has seen some really big jumps forward via the Orotta School of Medicine”.

Dirty politics and sloppy journalism aside, Eritrea's Science is alive and flourishingHowever, contrary to her private pronouncements to the Orotta School of Medicine and without visiting the country to conduct meaningful research on the ground, she turned to murky sources to denigrate Eritrea’s institutions of higher learning and to use the prestigious Nature Magazine as a medium for promoting, in cahoots with other external detractors of the country, sinister political agendas rather than science or medicine. Indeed, her principal sources and reference points were none other than a couple of quislings and disgruntled Eritrean professionals in the Diaspora, or those who have little or no knowledge about Eritrea’s past or present realities, as well as some expatriates who simply anoint themselves as experts on the country on account of one or two short field visits.


In reality, what is “shattered” is not “Eritrea’s science” as Ms. Barley wrongly contends, but truth itself, which was the principal casualty of her sloppy journalism. Otherwise, in as far as the prevailing status and what has been put in place at the Orotta Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine are concerned, facts on the ground speak for themselves. And the good news is that science in Eritrea is alive and kicking.

Eritrea has succeeded in establishing a medical school in 2004 and a dental school in 2007, and both are up and running. A graduate school of Biomedical Sciences is also on target to be launched in the near future. In the same vein, the Orotta Postgraduate Medical Education program, which was established with the help of the George Washington University School of Medicine in 2008, is in the process of solidification and expansion under the auspices of the Orotta School of Medicine.

Within nine years of its existence, the Orotta School of Medicine has succeeded in training 176 doctors while the Orotta School of Dental Medicine shall graduate 24 dentists in 2014. At present, there are 311 medical and 80 dental students pursuing their education. The Post Graduate Medical Education program, on its part, has been able to train 15 pediatricians, 5 gynecologists, and 5 surgeons during the past five years. Four residents in each of the three disciplines are now under training.

Oxford University Press Becoming a Physician: Medical Education in Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, 1750-1945
Book (Oxford University Press)
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