National University of Samoa welcomes new Medical Professor

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 13 April 2018, 12:00AM

The National University of Samoa has announced the appointment of Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma as the founding Professor at the School of Medicine.

Aiono played an instrumental part in setting up the medical school at the N.U.S and also played a lead role in the curriculum committee which put together the schools initial curriculum in 2014. 

The announcement was made by the Vice Chancellor and President Prof. Fui Asofou So’o, who officially welcomed Aiono to their institution.

“We’re very happy to have on board Dr. Aiono Alec Ekeroma as the founding professor of our school of medicine,” said Prof. Fui. 

“As a Professor a lot of things that you do and contribute to the development of the medical school, of course you teach but one of the most important things is to lead our research aspect of work and I thank Dr Ekeroma for the interest to be part of the development of the medical school of Samoa.” 

“Aiono was part of the team that put together the curriculum of our school of medicine. He has always been a part of the development of our medical school and to have somebody of Aiono’s caliber is very important and critical part in the development of our medical school leading our research and publication of our work.”

Aiono Dr Alec Ekeroma has been teaching at the University of Auckland at Middlemore hospital for 22 years. Promoted to Associate Professor three years ago, Aiono also recently was appointed as a Professor at the Wellington School of Medicine as part of the University of Otago. He will be dividing his time between the schools of medicine, 

“There will still be synergies whereby I can contribute from New Zealand across to Samoa but also then assist our school and medical students looking for opportunities to have programmes from New Zealand as well.”

The Professor is looking forward to giving back to his country as he had planned all those years ago when he first left Samoa to set up his own private practice in Auckland specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology.  

“For my appointment to be the first foundation professor for the school of medicine at N.U.S I cherish this opportunity to give back to medical education and the country.” Aiono said “To raise the quality of medical education and to have the medical school recognized across the region and therefore the medical school has the potential to contribute to the improvement of health outcomes of not only in Samoa but in the Pacific region so that’s the reason why I have taken up this opportunity to sign up with the N.U. S school of medicine in order to contribute back in the development of medical education and research, to raise the profile of medical.”

Dr Ekeroma received his M.B.B.S. degree from the University of P.N.G. in 1982 before pursuing his M.B.A. degree in 1999 MBA from the University of Keele in the United Kingdom. He is also the Chief Editor of two Pacific Health journals – Pacific Journal of Reproductive Health (founder) and the Pacific Health Dialog.

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi 13 April 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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