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How the University of Health Sciences Antigua is helping medical students affected by the war in Ukraine

How the University of Health Sciences Antigua is helping medical students affected by the war in Ukraine

BY Promoted Content

2nd Mar 2023 Life

The devastation caused by the war in Ukraine has sent nearly 5 million refugees to seek protection and provisions in neighbouring European nations. Among those is a contingent of students from Africa who were in Ukraine to study medicine.
Image for the logo for University of Health Services in Antigua
When the war with Russia broke out in February 2022, those students quickly found themselves without a place to study or a place to live.
As Ukraine’s war with Russia moves into its second year, the plight of these students is beginning to make headlines. One recent article, which appeared in Voice of America, reports that the war has left many of these students in limbo, unable to continue their studies in Ukraine yet unable to return to their homelands. In essence, the war has left these students homeless and in need of help.
Dr. Adedayo Akande, who serves as President of the University of Health Sciences Antigua (UHSA), has recently come forward as someone who is willing to provide that help. His organization, in cooperation with 8B Education Investments, is offering African medical students scholarships and financing to cover the cost of their medical education, enabling them to continue their studies at UHSA.
8B African Education Investments is a financial technology company that provides African students with access to global educational resources, including a database of scholarships that are available for African applicants. 8B assists with the scholarship application process as well as assisting students with the job search process after graduation. The funding for study abroad programs that 8B Africa supports comes from partnerships with a variety of lenders and institutions unified in their commitment to enable African innovators to receive a world-class education.
“As the only African-founded medical colleges in our region, it is imperative that we give back and provide the access these students need,” says Dr. Akande. “The war in Ukraine is heartbreaking and only when speaking with these displaced students do you really understand what they are experiencing.”
UHSA was founded in 1982 in Dow’s Hill, Piccadilly, Antigua. It is a private university that offers students from around the world a course of study resulting in a Doctor of Medicine degree. The school’s curriculum, paired with the experience that it provides through international partnerships that it has established, makes students eligible to become licensed to practice medicine in the US, Canada, and their home countries. Since Dr. Akande assumed the position of President in 2018, he has worked to ensure that UHSA offers students excellent training in the latest medical trends.
In 2022, UHSA launched an innovative psychedelics research program that gives students the opportunity to study the use of therapeutics for the treatment of medical needs and rare disorders.
“Mental health is such a big topic in the world of healthcare today, especially with the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had in that area,” explains Dr. Akande. “As far as psychedelics are concerned, there is a wide range of research that proves how beneficial they are for treating mental health issues ranging from post-traumatic stress disorder to anxiety to basic depression. That is one of the main reasons that we are committed to supporting this field of study — it’s the future of medicine and it is essential that the medical profession learn to apply it.”
The courses that UHSA provides on psychedelics combine textbook learning with the experience gained from participating in clinical trials that are being conducted in the research labs on the school’s campus. “Our main focus with this program is to supplement traditional medical training with an education on this natural pathway of medicine,” Dr. Akande explains. “Psychedelics are the future of medicine. What better way for our students to get ahead and be ready when the world comes around and embraces the benefits of natural medicine?”
The African medical students who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine face a unique challenge. In many cases, their education was financed by considerable sacrifice or sizable loans taken on by their families. For students in that situation, going home without a degree is an option that would cause too much pain.
Most students who were enrolled at Ukrainian schools have faced understandable challenges with getting official transcripts and other assistance typically required when transferring to a program at a new school. UHSA, through a special page on its website dedicated to displaced Ukraine-based medical students, says it understands the difficulty of obtaining official transcripts and other documents from schools in Ukraine at the present time and will accept unofficial transcripts with applications until official records can be obtained.
Banner image credit:  Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

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