No fewer than 3,350 were graduated by the College of Health Sciences of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State since the inception of the college in 5th May, 1972 till date with three faculties and 24 departments.
The faculties are Basic Medical Sciences,Clinical Sciences and Dentistry, and Institute of Public health.
Among the distinguished and notable alumni of the college over the years are the Chairman/Editor-In-Chief LEADERSHIP group,the publisher of the LEADERSHIP Newspapers, Abuja, Sam Nda-Isaiah, Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Senator (Dr) Olorunimbe Mamora, Honourable (Dr) Wale Okediran, CEO and Medical Director of Victory Vascular and General Surgery of Georgia, USA; Dr (Oba) Kiladejo Victor, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom; Brigadier Generals in the Nigeria Army,Dr Ayemoba Ojor and Dr Falola Bayo, while Dr Okaa Vincent, the Commissioner of Police.
Others are Professors (Mrs) Ebun Adejuyigbe, Augustine Agbakwuru, Mrs Olatokunbo Olanipekun,the Secretary General/Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria,Dr Jenifa,the General Manager,Society for Family Health, Abuja, Dr Oluwole Odutolu, Senior Health Specialist, World Bank Office,Abuja,Dr Sowemimo Efunsola, Assistant Commissioner of Police among others.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the founding fathers of the college had vision that it will stand the test of time if they could follow its setting to the letter and today, they have been vindicated with the kind of personalities they have trained which cut across all human endavour.
The university’s second Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hezekiah Oluwasanmi , was quoted in 1973 on the mission and vision of the Ife Medical School, saying that “The Faculty is pioneering an innovative approach to medical education and the delivery of health care service. We have set out to train teams of medical workers in the same conditions under which they will be called upon to serve on the completion of their studies. While doing this, we shall at the same time be bringing the best facilities in health and medical care as close to the people as possible. We believe that in doing these things, we are answering a fundamental need namely the need for universities in the developing countries of the world to adapt their curricula and their teaching programmes to the peculiar objective conditions of their respective communities”.
Professor Oluwasanmi added that Speaking with newsmen to herald the week long 40-year anniversary of impacting health education in the country, the current provost of the college,Professor Solomon Ogunniyi urged the government at all levels in the country to invest heavily on the health sector, lamenting the the poor funding of the health sector in Nigeria which he described as the bane of the major problem facing the improvement and progress of the sector.
The renowned scholar also stressed that the government at all levels in the nation should be blamed for under budgeting for the sector.
Professor Oguniyi also urged the government at all levels to see the health sector beyond the provision of social services and make the fund available for the improvement of the sector, calling on the government particularly the legislative arm to legislate on how to put stop to the government officials from travelling travel out of the country, for medical treatment in order to overhaul development of the sector.
He said, “If hospitals in Nigeria are adequately funded, there would not be room for any citizens particularly government officials to travel abroad for medical treatment. I want to urge the government to invest heavily on health sector because the health of the people is the health of the nation”.
The health expert cautioned the public to ensure proper cleanness of their environment so as to reduce infection of diseases in our society.
Ogunniyi equally warned the health workers in the country to stop embarking on strike action because of their pivotal role in saving the lives of the teeming masses of the nation, adding “it seems government does not have health policy for the people and they should serve as the hope of common people.
Delivering the 40 years anniversary lecture that is entitled:”Ife Philosophy of Health Professional Education- 40 Years After”, a renowned medical practitioner, Professor Michael Akintayo Bankole,who was a former dean of the faculty, observed that the Faculty was Nigeria’s fifth Medical School and Ife medical was first conceived as a Faculty of Health Sciences because its vision and mission was to train not only doctors, but also other members of the health professionals.
Bankole who is Professor of Paediatric Surgery and Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at the then University of Ife and the University Teaching Hospital also observed that the first and most pernicious ‘illness’
to which the ‘idea’ was subjected was the one caused by the failure of the University community to separate ideas from people, noting that many people identified the Ife idea with the person of Ife’s first Dean and ‘Principal midwife’, of the idea and reacted to his person rather than the idea.
The former Registrar, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Lagos, advised medical experts in the country to remember where they were coming from, noting that Ife has been talking about population based health care since 1972 before Nigeria’s Basic Health Services Scheme of the 3rd National Development Plan of 1975- 80 and the World Health Assembly’s Alma Ata Declaration of 1978.
He advocated the incorporation and establishment of a Medical Education Department/Unit to make the science and methodology of education a practical concern for all, the inclusion in the curriculum content of the University M.B.ChB of the courses in Management in Medical Practice, Entrepreneurship in Medical Practice and Ethics and Medico-legal issues in Medical Practice.
His words: ‘‘Now in 2012, the nation is three years away from yet another global, but artificial deadline for the MDGs. The MDGs can only be achieved in the context of an effective Primary Health Care programme truly covering a given population with appropriate documentation, not
through an endless series of seminars and workshops interspersed with National Immunization Programmes’’.
Earlier, the college had commissioned the department museum named after the first Provost of the college, Professor Thomas Ige (Grillos) as part of his contribution towards making the college the first among equal in Africa.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the institution has been the centre of excellence in the treatment of kidney in Nigeria.