…as Dickson urges incoming government to support varsity
By Amgbare Ekaunkumo,Yenagoa
The Bayelsa Medical University, BMU, has successfully held her maiden matriculation ceremony for 208 students in nine Faculties of the institution.
Speaking at the institution’s campus in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, the visitor to the University, Governor Seriake Dickson called on the incoming administration to give the necessary support to the institution, describing it as “a fulfilment of a vision and a long term strategic interest and future of the state.”
According to Governor Dickson, the vision behind the establishment of the BMU was to produce medical manpower to cater for the health needs of Bayelsans and the country at large.
His words:” The idea of this university is to maximize the investments of the state. It is to serve two key purposes; to serve as a functional teaching hospital, and to use it to achieve the training of medical personnel that the state desperately needs.
“I want to call on the incoming government to support this great vision, it is not about one person or party interest, but about a long term strategic interest and future of our people. We want to take over the world in the areas of medical knowledge and research. We want to produce the highest number of medical doctors, pharmacists, and medical personnel in this country.”
While congratulating the matriculating students, Dickson expressed joy for a dream come true and the progress recorded in the short period and thanked parents as well as students for sharing in his dream.
In his speech, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the BMU, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, commended Governor Dickson for his vision and foresight in establishing the Bayelsa Medical University in August 2018, adding that it was meant to address the dearth of critical human capital in the health sector of the state through the provision of high-quality medical education of international standards.
While admonishing the students to shun all forms of examination malpractices and social vices as they pursue their future careers, Etebu pointed out that the 208 pioneer matriculating students are distributed into nine academic programmes, Bio-Chemistry, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Biology, Micro-Biology, Physics, and Electronics.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, who applauded Governor Dickson for his bold initiative in establishing the institution, said the Bayelsa Medical University is only one of five specialized medical universities in the country whose preoccupation is the production of daily needed medical personnel and manpower.
Professor Rasheed who was represented by Mr. Chris Mayaiki, pointed out that there was the urgent need for huge investments in health education and health care services by all stakeholders to mitigate the challenge of brain drain by medical personnel due to medical tourism.
He stated that the current 3,000 medical doctors produced annually by medical colleges in the country was grossly inadequate, noting that the country needs to produce 300,000 doctors annually to meet the World Health Organization, WHO, ratio of 1 doctor to 600 persons as against the 1 doctor to 3,500 persons currently in the country.