At least 300 medical students at the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA) have expressed anger over the school administrator’s alleged action that constrained them to buy a certain medical tool known as BP-colds which the school later allegedly presented to individual students as gifts.
The students were on 22 March capped and pinned by the school during a ceremony held at the premises of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor, suburb of Monrovia when they were presented BP-colds.
BP-colds, a medical tool used to examine patients to diagnose their medical problems which could lead to prescription of medications.
A spokeswoman for the frustrated students, Merlin Collins complains that each of the medical students spent US$35.00 to acquire the BP-colds, terming it a waste of financial resources in a declining economy.
She claims that prior to the capping and pinning program for the students, they were requested by TNIMA Administrator Madam Sara Kollie to buy BP-colds and present it into her office.
In addition to buying the BP-colds, student Collins narrates that they were made to wrap them in gift papers with their respective names written on them before submitting the gifts to Madam Kollie’s office.
She says to their dismay, the BP-colds that they bought were officially presented to them as gifts in the presence of visitors and friends.
Student Collins claims that the move by the school administrator gave an impression that it was the school that was giving out gifts to students.
“If the school wanted to do good for the students, why it did not use her own finance to purchase the BP-colds, wrap it and present it to them?” she wonders.
According to her, most of the students had long since bought their BP-colds as part of requirements prior to enrolling into the school.
She argues that buying additional BP-colds caused the students to unnecessarily spend their money.
The students demand apology from Madam Sara Kollie for the alleged unnecessary financial burden they had to undergo in a very difficult economy here, saying some of them got the money by begging other people.
Student Collins alleges that Madam Kollie threatened students against talking about the transaction to anyone to avoid putting the school into trouble.
When contacted on 27 March at his office at the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital, spokesman Creeton James confirmed the incident.
However, James says the administration at TNIMA took the decision to ensure that medical students who were to be capped and pinned have the BP-colds, a major requirement for accepted students in the institute.
The TNIMA was established in 1945 through the effort and cooperation of the Liberian National Public Health Services, now the Ministry of Health and the United States Mission to train students desirous of acquiring medical skills in Liberia.
By Emmanuel Mondaye –Edited by Winston W. Parley