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NMA ex-president laments challenges facing medical education

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• Samuel Adegboyega varsity committed to research for development, says VC

Former president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Dominic Osaghae, has expressed worry over the increasing challenges facing medical education in the country.

Describing them as unacceptable, he said they portend a bleak future for the medical profession.According to him, it is trite to say that our medical schools are set up to produce medical manpower for export, and the situation further reinforces that the government and people of Nigeria are subsidising the production of medical manpower for developed countries.

Speaking during the 4th White Coat Ceremony of the School of Clinical Medicine, Igbinedion University Okada (IUO), Edo State, Osaghae said the country had continued to witness inexorable and unprecedented export of medical personnel to more developed countries.

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The dean of the school identified shortage of doctors and unrealised Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as the key issues militating against the nation’s health sector.“It is increasingly evident that the future is bleak for the medical profession because younger doctors will be unavailable in the future to replace the ageing population of doctors, as they either retire or answer the final call.

“Available records indicate that all medical schools in Nigeria produce about 3,000 doctors annually and 2,000 emigrate. Hence, there is unfavourable doctor to patient ratio for Nigeria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate for Nigeria is one doctor to 6,000 population as compared to the recommended 1:600 ratio for optimal care,” Osaghae said.

The Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, lauded the school for instituting the ‘White Coat Ceremony: Beginning of Medical Professional Journey’.Represented by the Director, Professional Discipline, Dr. Enejo Abdul, the registrar informed the medical students that the duty of every doctor was to maintain the highest reputation of the medical profession in the society.

Meanwhile, the Vice chancellor, Samuel Adegboyega University (SAU), Ogwa, Edo State, Prof. Babatunde Idowu, has said that stakeholders within and outside the institution are committed to improved research for academic excellence.Addressing journalists during his unveiling as the third substantive VC of the institution, Idowu counted the institution’s Centre for Research and Development of Esanland (CERDEL) among many research centres geared towards promoting Esan culture and language.

According him, CERDEL has recorded progress since its establishment in 2016.He added that the centre would commence annual lecture series in honour of Prof. Julius Okojie, the former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), a staunch supporter of the Centre.

“The Centre will also organise a summer programme between August and September this year for sons and daughters of Esanland. The essence is to create a platform for robust interaction that will advance Esan culture. This will play a key role in addressing the fears in some quarters that Esan language may go into extinction. The Onogie of Ogwa has been very supportive in this direction,” Idowu said.

On staff and students’ development, the don said both academic and non-academic staff would be sent for trainings to boost research activities of the university, adding that more social activities would equally be encouraged to strike a balance between students’ academics and social lives.

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