As WACS launches Wall of Fame

By Chioma Obinna

President of the West African College of Surgeons, WACS, Prof Peter Donkor on Monday in Lagos said improving the working conditions of medical professionals in-country will stem the tide of brain drain in Nigeria and West Africa at large.

Speaking at the official launch of its WACS’s Wall of Fame in Lagos, Donkor losing a surgeon after training in the region was a big loss, adding that the tide must be stemmed urgently.

According to him, the brain drain in the health sector was majorly due to poor conditions of service and family pressures.

“We will like to work with our governments to see how best this can be stemmed because it is a problem, the more we train, the more we lose them a problem is.   It is like pouring water down the drain.”

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He disclosed that WACS as the leading trainer of surgeons in the West Africa sub-region was created to saturate every nook and cranny with highly trained surgeons who will provide much-needed surgical services close to where the people live.

He said since the birth of WACS in 1960, nearly 10,000 surgeons have been trained, unfortunately; the region is still way off the target.   “Our target is to train at least 100,000 surgeons.”

Disclosing that each year they required nearly N2 billion to sustain operations and training activities, he said the Wall of Fame launched by the college was to recognise the first cohort of gold, silver, and bronze donors.

He said the wall of fame will remain a testament to the generosity of the donors as well as their love for the college and what it represents.

Encouraging more individual and corporate donors to donate towards the activities of WACS, he said: “It will remain a permanent fixture and will be continually updated to include new donors who will be immortalised in our history.”

He further called on government to provide necessary facilities to train future surgeons to ensure that every part of the sub-region has enough surgeons.

In his welcome address, the Chairman, Fundraising Committee, Prof. Nimi Briggs explained that the idea of the wall of Fame came from gratitude to the Fellows o the college’s dedicated response to the call to which they think should not go unappreciated.

Commending the Fellows of the college for their generous donation towards their new secretariat, he described it as an astonishing achievement for WACS.

“Soon I believe the name will change from Wall of Fame to Hall of Fame as your names shall fill this entire hall where visitors and generations to come, shall visit to catch a glimpse of the contributions of their fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers presented in Gold, silver or Bronze in the history of WACS.”

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