NUC approves three programmes for Novena University
The National Universities Commission (NUC) recently approved medicine, dentistry and pharmacy programmes for Novena university, Ogume, Delta State.
This is coming just as the commission also gave further approvals to the institution to run PhD. Microbiology, PGD, M.Sc., PhD. Computer Science, PGD, M.Sc. and PhD. Energy and Petroleum Studies.
Earlier, Novena university had started delivery of other health sciences programmes like nursing, optometry, medical laboratory science, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, public and community health, which is offered up to PhD specialising in public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, health information systems, primary healthcare and environmental health.
The university had secured €100 million from a German Development Bank to build 240-bed high standard facilities teaching hospital in support to the use of the Specialist Hospitals of the Delta State government available to the university to train her students after signing a Memoranda of Understanding with the government.
Two healthcare providers and health services organisations in India coming in as knowledge partners have made themselves available to provide well-trained healthcare professionals to be part of the team.
Novena university is pioneering the establishment of a College of Computing and Telecommunications. The courses to begin within the new college are the new approvals they got from NUC. These are B.Sc. Software Engineering, B.Sc. Cyber Security, B.Sc. Information Systems, B.Sc. Information Technology, and B.Sc. Telecommunications Technology.
These approvals came after the authorities of the NUC’s diligent examination of its facilities and lecturers for the courses. The university has been training students for 16 years in Public and Community Health up to PhD.
Due to this feat, Novena university disclosed that the institution would commence Medicine and Surgery, Bachelor of Dentistry and Doctor of Pharmacy in the 2021/2022 academic session.
Reacting, Novena University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nduka Godwin Chukwuenweniwe, said it has become necessary for the institution to contribute its quota to the current global shortfall in medical personnel.
According to him, “We have analysed the supply of healthcare workers globally and seen the shortages in the supply of such professionals, we decided to venture into this critical area.”
Specifically, Chukwuenweniwe said: ”South Africa has 393 nurses and 74 doctors per 100,000 people, as compared to the United States 901 nurses and 247 doctors per 100,000 people. Nigeria (Africa’s most populous country) has only 23,000 physicians for its population of over 150 million. This is a ratio of only about 18.5 physicians per 100,000. (this census figure is even contestable today as no proper census has been conducted in the last three decades).
“There is an obvious need for healthcare professionals all over the world and our interest is to add to the existing number. The adequate supply of healthcare professionals has been a serious issue for developed countries in the last few decades.”
Continuing, he disclosed that across the European Union, more than half of the physicians were aged over 45 in 2000; in Norway, the average age of dentists was 62.
In developing countries, the Vice-Chancellor said they struggle to produce and retain a sufficiently qualified healthcare workforce.
Chukwuenweniwe said: ”Around 36 African countries do not meet targets of one doctor per 5,000 people and even in non-conflict affected countries such as Zambia and Ghana, there is only one doctor for more than 10,000 people.
He further said the global healthcare profession employs an estimated 100 million people but not attracting enough new recruits in both developed and developing countries alike.
Quoting World Health Organisation (WHO), he said Sub-Saharan African faces the greatest challenges. While it has 11 per cent of the world’s population and 24 per cent of the global burden of disease, it has only 3 per cent of the world’s health workers.
Chukwuenweniwe said Novena university would fill the gap in the shortage of medical personnel nationally and internationally as the school commences admission for the 2021/2022 academic session.