At Unizik: Scholars, Others seek way forward for Health Services System

Scholars and Medical Practitioners who converged at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, for the Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Committee for Directors of Health Services in Nigerian Universities (CODHSNU) and National Association of Doctors in University Health Services (NADUHS) have harped on the way forward for services system in the nation’s Ivory Towers.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 19th NADUHS and 35th CODHESNU scientific conference which held on Wednesday at the University Auditorium themed: “Quality Assurance and Control: The Way Forward for the University Health Services System, Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof. Charles Esimone, FAS, stated that quality assurance and control in the University medical centres is paramount and one of the key enablers in achieving his vision for ‘Project 200’ of his administration.

Prof. Esimone stated that for medical professionals in Nigerian Universities, whose roles are teaching, research and community/public service, they are also saddled with the burden of providing municipal services including Medicare for themselves. The Professor of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology highlighted that Nigerian Public Universities are beset with funding challenges arising from inadequate financial allocations from the funding government which has thrown on the University Administrations the challenge of exploring other sources of funding.

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Declaring the Scientific Conference open, The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala ably represented by Dr. Afam Aniemena stated that quality of health services cannot be overemphasized. He posited that one of the core values of the medical profession is in ensuring the quality of medical services for the citizens of the state. Dr. Aniemena urged the University to ensure that they maintain the quality of Doctors and medical practitioners being churned out from the institution on annual basis. He revealed that the State’s Ministry of Health is poised to partner UNIZIK in the aspect of full comprehensive HIV services.

Earlier, Chief Medical Director, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Dr. Joseph Ugboaja stated that health care delivery is about quality of services rendered which is dependent on some key variables such as qualified personnel, availability of medical equipment, good medical structures, funding and better welfare/remunerations.

Dr. Ugboaja stated that the theme of the conference is apt, contemporary and topical while saying that the far reaching decisions and deliberations in the aftermath of the conference will be put into practice for the growth of the University, betterment of the society, the nation and the health sector at large.

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In his address, the keynote speaker, Dr. Franklin Ebozue stated that quality improvement is an integral part of the medical practice which requires a joint effort from all stakeholders in the health care profession aimed at achieving an identical goals which is to ensure the highest quality of care for patients, without losing societal aspects such as cost control and accessibility to care. The consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist opined that to ensure quality service, variables such as assets management, empowering clinical units, information storage, Pharmaceutical stock, funding as well as training and increasing staff productivity are of paramount importance.

Also speaking NADUHS National President, Dr. I.B. Ahara stated that the theme of the conference is appropriate and timely as there is need to monitor and evaluate medical practitioners performance at the University Health Services in order to identify gaps for timely and appropriate intervention to improve the quality of care and response to medical emergencies and epidermics. Echoing his views, the National President of CODHESU, Dr. Dagogo Cookey-Gan emphasized that the scientific conference provides Continuing Medical Education in relevant fields as it affects Health Care delivery in our Universities. He said that the theme is apt towards focusing on the critical sector of addressing the challenges of service delivery in University Medical Centres across the country.

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Also speaking, the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Dr. Michael Eze stated that the scientific conference is apt especially now that the nation is in the front line in the battle against not only COVID-19 but also other viral diseases in the University Health Services. He thanked UNIZIK for accepting to host the conference as well as the CODHESNU and NADUHS for their immense contributions.

Directors of various Universities Services including Dr. Emmanuel Umenweke aired their views respectively. As part of the scientic conference, there was plenary and scientific sessions, NADUHS AGM and election, awards and press conference.

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