By Scholastica JOSEPH, Makurdi
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has stated that if all Nigerian doctors remain in the country, Nigeria will still require about 120 years to train the number of doctors it needs.
Adamu stated this last Friday at the maiden matriculation ceremony of the Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, FUSHO, held at its temporary site in Otada, Otukpo local government area of Benue State.
The minister, who decried the high level of brain drain in the country’s health sector, said “Statistics have shown that doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria falls far short of the World Health Organization, (WHO) recommendations, which stipulates ratio of one doctor to every 600 patients. This contrasts with the current 1:6000 ratio in Nigeria.”
Adamu, who was represented by a permanent secretary in the ministry, Arc. Sunny Echono, lamented that the quality of training, competence and skills needed in the medical profession has remained problematic in the country as a result of a combination of inadequate personnel and facilities.
“This was further exacerbated by the outbreak of of the global COVID-19 pandemic which exposed the weak institutional capacity for disease control and surveillance in the country.”
He said it was for this reason that the Federal Government established FUHSO, the first in the country, to bridge the huge gap with the benefit of a clear vision, strong leadership, an outstanding academic body, an innovative pedagogical model and management framework.
He added that the institution was established to provide specialized training, research and facilities in the field of medical and health sciences that will reverse the brain drain in the education and health sectors of the nation’s economy.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Innocent Ujah explained that the pioneer students were thoroughly screened in both learning capacity and character to arrive at the 230 students who were being matriculated.
Ujah thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for restoring the University, former President Goodluck Jonathan for giving the first approval for the establishment of the institution, former, Senate President, David Mark, the Education Minister, Governor Samuel Ortom and many others who played key roles in ensuring the realization of the institution.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed joy that the university has taken off and assured that state government will partner with the Ministry for the maintenance of the standard of the university.