President Ali meets with cancer specialist, immunologist to discuss establishment of medical school

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Tuesday met with Cancer Research Scientist, Professor Dr James Allison, and Dr Padmanee Sharma, Professor in Oncology and Immunology, to discuss the establishment of a medical advisory council in Guyana.

The meeting also entailed a discussion on the setting up of a medical university, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme, to enhance the level of education provided to medical students in Guyana.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali flanked by Dr Padmanee Sharma and Dr James Allison

In an invited comment, Dr Allison, who holds a Nobel prize in Physiology for the discovery of cancer therapy, said, “The president had some very definite ideas about things that needed to be done in specific areas such as vaccine development and drug development which would bring Guyana right into the mainstream of modern technology and medicine.”

Meanwhile, Dr Sharma, noted that their extensive work in developing cancer and immunotherapy drugs has led them to the area of education, getting students involved in medical research. She said the establishment of a new medical school could attract foreign students to Guyana.

“We would be honoured to work with the President in Guyana to help put together a science and medicine programme… not just in primary and secondary education, but also in a medical school setting, where we can bring in not only Guyanese, but also foreign students to train in medicine and science as we move forward and build a future with the country,” she noted.

Dr Sharma said the conversation allowed for an understanding of President Ali’s vision for Guyanese and how they can play a part in bringing this vision to reality.

Earlier this month, President Ali expressed plans to establish a National Medical Scientific Council, which can propel Guyana into becoming a regional healthcare powerhouse.

Dr Allison and Dr Sharma have been making their mark in Guyana’s education sector under a family enterprise called Abraham’s Tent Inc, which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing educational opportunities for underprivileged children in the Corentyne area.

They also brought to life the Sharmallison Scholarship Programme equipping underprivileged students in the Corentyne with access to adequate education.

Just recently, the pair hosted an opening ceremony for the Scholars Academy in No. 74 village, a school geared towards providing a well-rounded education to students in the Corentyne.