In an effort to booster Liberia’s health system, 8 of about 35 students sponsored by the Nyan Scholarship Program (NSP) recently graduated from two major healthcare training institutions in Liberia after successfully completing three to four years of studies in nursing and midwifery. About 12 additional students are expected to complete their midwifery/nursing studies at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.
Seven of the NSP sponsored students, namely, Sidney Johnson, Rancy Taryon, Gertrude Jah, Caroline Karpeh, Joseph Tweh, Emmanuel Kuoh, and Teta Geplay graduated with Diplomas from the Deana Kay Isaacson School of Nursing and Midwifery located in Grand Gedeh County, while Diamond Wesseh, graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from the Winifred J. Harley College of Health Sciences of the United Methodist University located in Ganta, Nimba County.
“We are proud to present to you talented young men and women from our beloved country who have completed three years course of professional study in midwifery.
We say thank you very much for your financial assistance that made it possible for our sons and daughters, Dr. [Nyan]. The students remain grateful and those in the system will keep knocking at your doors for more,” wrote Mr. Wilson Jose Tarwille, RN, BSN, Director of the Deana Kay Isaacson School of Midwifery and Nursing.
Liberia’s fragile healthcare system was completely destroyed by a 14-year long civil war and further broken by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, an epidemic that killed over 11,000 people in the three West African countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Seirra Leone. The current infant mortality rate of Liberia for 2022 stands at 48.317 deaths per 1000 live births, while the current life expectancy for the country in 2022 is 64.72 years according MacroTrends data.
Established since 2002, the Nyan Scholarship Program (NSP) is privately sponsored by Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, a Liberian medical doctor and globally acclaimed inventor and infectious disease scientist. Dr. Nyan is presently in Liberia teaching biology at his Alma mater (Monrovia College) and providing free lectures in public health microbiology and biology to various state and private universities, including the African Methodist Episcopal University, the United Methodist University and the Harbel College.
The NSP is administered by an Academic Selection Committee with rigorous and competitive criteria for scholarship awards to successful applicants. Over the past 20 years since 2002, the Nyan Scholarship Program (NSP) has awarded partial and full scholarships, as well as stipends to needed and academically talented students for tuition payments, and for room and board. The students are also mentored by Dr. Nyan.
“Congratulations to all recent graduates on the successful completion of their studies in nursing and midwifery; I also applaud the support of their families; now let them go out into the world and help the needed people and the society as a whole,” Dr. Nyan said.
He added that, “the Nyan Scholarship Program is a simple experiment which certainly demonstrates that if we plan well in this country [Liberia] and properly implement strategic academic and professional training programs as Africans, we can utilize local educational expertise and resources to train others and building capacity by ourselves without depending too much on the outside.”
During a video conference call over the weekend, the students and Director of the Deana Kay Isaacson School thanked Dr. Nyan and family for the support.
The NSP is presently sponsoring about 26 students in the midwifery and nursing programs at the Deana Kay Isaacson School of Nursing and Midwifery, 1 student in Public Administration at the United Methodist University and 2 Masters of Public Health students at the University of Liberia.
The Nyan Scholarship Program was established in 2002 in honour of the legendary warrior, orator, and oral-historian, Jack Sunday Saah-Nyan, the grandfather of Dr. Nyan’s. Administrators and Coordinators of the NSP over the years include Ginette Adelyn Sowu-Nyan, Ben Davies, Annie Young, Grace Jarsoh, and Tepenty Young.