‘Our multi-hospital will be Africa’s medical tourists’ destination
Barely eight years after its establishment, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Ekiti State, has continued to break new ground.
On Monday, May 21, ABUAD recorded another landmark with the inauguration of four projects, including the university’s Dome Planetarium, the only one in Africa, with an astronomical observatory and one of the largest fixed planetariums in the world.
Mr. Ajiboye Yinka, a lecturer in the physics department of the university, told journalists that the planetarium would help in the research of how to explore the resources on the moon while here on planet earth.
Also launched was the telemedicine equipment donated by the university’s partner, Aster DM Healthcare of Dubai, to the school’s 400-bed hospital, to assist the institution in the area of tele-consulting, tele-diagnosis and tele-management. The equipment will also enable the medical experts in Dubai join the medical team in ABUAD while performing surgical operations at the university’s hospital by proxy.
Dr. Olukayode Akinlade, who conducted journalists on a tour of the facilities, described the hospital as a medical tourism attraction and destination point, not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
“This is not just a hospital; I call it a multi-hospital. The facilities in the hospital are much more than what you can routinely find in a general hospital or a university teaching hospital. For instance, it has an information management system, where everything is done paper-less. We have about 95 consultants and teaching staff. With the quality of facilities and equipment here, the brain drain of yesterday will be turned to brain gain. Here, there is no such thing as doctors or non-medical staff embarking on strike because everything about remuneration has been resolved once and for all, including incentives for workers with outstanding performance,” Akinlade said.
He said the equipment and facilities in the hospital would encourage Nigerian medical practitioners in the diaspora to return home, thereby turning the infamous ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain gain.’
The hospital boasts of five operating theatres for cases in the following specialised medical areas: orthopaedic, abdomen, ENT (ear, nose and throat), cardiac and brain. Other equipment at the hospital include a digital X-ray machine with fluoroscopy (which transmits fluid before X-ray), a bone densitometer (which checks the integrity of a patient’s bone), immunoacid machines (abott 1,000 and 4,000, with capacities to conduct 1,000 and 4,000 blood sample tests in just an hour, respectively).
There is also the magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) equipment, which Akinlade described as the best in Nigeria at the moment. The multi-hospital has five lifts, each of which has enough space for a bed for the patients’ convenience during emergency situations. There is also the VIP lounge, a ward to take care of patients who may want privacy like the president or top government and public officials and other eminent citizens.
Provost of the College of Medicine, Prof. Olurotimi Sanya, said, in spite of the world-class facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, the hospital is affordable for all in terms of cost of accessing medical treatment/health care.
“No patient will be turned back from the hospital on account of money. There is a health insurance scheme designed in such a way that the rich would take care of the medical bills of the poor and the needy,” he said.
His position supports the founder’s claim that the university is a non-profit institution despite being a private institution.
Addressing top media professionals recently at the university’s campus in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, during a world press conference to herald the four new projects in the institution, Babalola said: “I sold my property in Europe and emptied my bank accounts to establish ABUAD. It is a non-profit institution. I established the university after what I saw during my seven years as the pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos. The university was like a market. I saw rot and decay, characterised by cultism, successive strikes by various campus unions, poor dressing by teachers and students and dilapidated infrastructure, among several others.
“Those of us who are conversant with the Bible will recall that Jesus Christ used parables and examples to drive his message home. ABUAD is an example of how a university should be run in Nigeria.”
Within eight years, ABUAD has received 100 per cent accreditation in all its 47 academic programmes, thanks to its world-class facilities and equipment. And while most universities grapple with incessant strikes by lecturers and non-academic staff, ABUAD has, in eight years, produced three sets of graduates in various disciplines.
“Our College of Law is rated the best in West Africa. I am proud to inform you that our graduates made first class and second class upper division at the Law School in 2016. Another of our graduates made a first class, while several others made second class upper division at the Law School in 2017,” Prof. Samaranda Olarinde, deputy vice chancellor (administration) and provost of College of Law told journalists.
Immediate past executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, described the university’s programmes as the best in West Africa, while the immediate past president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Isaac Olorunfemi, described the school’s engineering programme as the “template for engineering education in Nigeria.”