… Graduates 416 Fellows, others
By Chioma Obinna
The National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, NPMCN, has called on the management of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, to recognise the volume and quality of ongoing health research possible within the postgraduate Medical College Education of the College.
President of the College, Prof. Akin Osibogun who called on TETFUND to fund the College and the researchers under its programme in the nation’s interest identified brain drain as a major threat to the realization of their mandate to produce specialist medical/dental manpower for Nigeria.
Giving his address during the 40th Convocation of the College for 416 Fellows, 63 graduands of the Postgraduate Medical Programme and 14 Postgraduate diplomats in Anaesthesia said the College has continued to engage the Federal Ministry of Health in refining the National Priority Health Research Agenda to enable the college to key into it through the many research projects its residents undertake annually that would impact positively in addressing National health problems.
He said to respond to national health needs and also with encouragement from the Federal Ministry of Health, a faculty of Emergency Medicine has been created and teaching hospitals have been notified to encourage them to establish Emergency Departments and seek accreditation with the college to allow for the training of interested residents in that area.
The High point of the convocation was the presentation of an honorary fellowship award to a legal Luminary, Afe Babalola for his uncommon passion for healthcare development.
Presenting the award, Osibogun, Afe Babalola was awarded the highest non-medical award for his commitment and investments in the Multi-System Hospital and the Medical School at the Afe Babalola University Ado- Ekiti.
“While our regular Fellowship awards are registrable with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, the Honourary Fellowship is not.”
Earlier, the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama pledged the Federal government’s commitment to resolving urgent issues confronting the college which require his attention.
The Minister who was represented by the Director General, Nigeria Medical Research, NIMR, Prof Babatunde Salako, listed some of the issues including; special funding for the College to accelerate the training of many more specialists to deal with the current wave of Brain drain while improving the work climate through the provision of additional incentives and welfare packages among others
In his lecture entitled: “Unlocking The Shackles That Restrain Major Advances in Medicine, Science and Technology in Nigeria”, Professor Funsho Komolafe said Nigeria has not made the desired achievement in the fields of medicine, science and technology due to the limitation imposed by the country’s sub-optimal infrastructure, key among which, he said, was grossly inadequate electricity supply.
Noting the wide disparity in the standards of industrialisation and tertiary medical care between the situation in the late 1970s and the present was paralleled by the massive decline in the value of Nigeria’s currency during the same period, Komolafe blamed the decline of the country on the failure of the country’s top political leadership whose negative influences have filtered down to the lower levels of leadership even to the followership in the general society.
He said despite the greatness of the country, the lack of the right leadership has been the bane o in almost the past four decades ensuring that the nation has little to show for its potential.