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Government no longer support medical residents, says West African College of Surgeons

By Charles Ozioma
04 November 2021   |   2:51 am
The West African College of Surgeons (WACS) has said that governments at all levels no longer support students. It said the situation has made the College turn to individuals

WACS turns to individuals, corporate bodies for donations, advocates for more women practitioners

The West African College of Surgeons (WACS) has said that governments at all levels no longer support students. It said the situation has made the College turn to individuals and corporate bodies for donations.

President, WACS, Prof. Peter Donkor, at the inauguration of the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) Wall of Fame, on Monday, in Lagos, said: “Many of us will remember the days when our government not only supported examiners and candidates to travel for examinations but also subsidised attendance at the yearly conference. Those days are long gone and colleges now have to self-fund all activities through membership contributions, examination fees, donations, sale of memorabilia etc.”

Donkor added: “By celebrating individual and corporate donors, we are also encouraging many more to donate towards the activities of West African College of Surgeons. We appeal to those individuals, business partners, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), philanthropists etc. who are still contemplating, or were not ready before this event, to come forward and donate.”

Donkor, who works at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Kumasi, Ghana, called for more surgeons to be spread across the medical sector. He suggested the multipoint approach by attracting people especially females who are graduating from medical school to surgery because surgery is slightly dominated by men. The surgeon stressed that individuals who want to become surgeons need financial help from the government because studying to be a surgeon can be relatively expensive.

Former chairman, Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Rivers State, Prof. Mimi Briggs, who was also present at the event, said federal and state governments have done well because they gave the authority that the West African College of Surgeons should be established. But he insisted they can do more to encourage and boost what the West African College of Surgeons is doing.

When asked about the emerging challenges facing the health sector, Briggs who is the chairman of, a fund-raising committee of West African College of Surgeons, told journalists that “finance” is one of the emerging challenges. He said they have not borrowed a penny yet but they still won’t mind finances from more corporate bodies, individuals and government for infrastructural development in the College.

“West African College of Surgeons aims to promote postgraduate medical education through accreditation, training and certification in surgery and related disciplines in collaboration with organisations with similar objectives. The College assures to contribute to surgical human resource development in order to meet the health needs of West Africa,” Briggs said.