From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The management of Iyienu Mission Hospital (IMH), Ogidi, Anambra State under the Anglican Communion, Church of Nigeria, Diocese on the Niger, is set to float a new college of health.
The cheery news was broken to the excited audience during the recent matriculation of 231 students of Medical Laboratory Technology, Dental Health Sciences, Pharmacy Technicians and Health Information Management, all of Iyienu Mission Hospital (IMH), Ogidi.
In a welcome address, head of school/coordinator, SMLT, Dr. Ifeoma Joy Onuora, advised the matriculating students to familiarize themselves with the students’ handbook/manual so that the rules and regulations of the school, known for excellence and high morals, would remain in their consciousness.
“Since inception of IMH in 1907, historical efforts gave birth to new schools within the compound. We are glad that four out of the seven schools are matriculating their new students now. The support of the Anglican Bishop, Diocese on the Niger, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo, and the hospital management board made it possible for these schools to be approved by their respective council bodies and almost all have obtained full accreditation to train professionals.
“The schools have needs of more equipment, facilities, school buses, and infrastructural development to accommodate the increasing number of students via completion of already started hostels and lecture buildings. As these are put in place, we would have built the Lasberry College of Health, our vision, a truly 21st century learning centre,” said Onuora.
Traditional ruler of Ogidi community, Igwe Alex Onyido, a pharmacist, urged the federal and state government to invest in the education and training of the students, saying that more health professionals were needed to fill the manpower gaps in the health sector.
Igwe Onyido, who is the managing director of Alben Pharmaceuticals Company, also asked government to support Iyienu Mission Hospital in its bid to establish a college of health, saying that graduates of the professional courses that would be offered in the institution were easily employable, adding that some of them could be self-employed.
“Health is wealth. Government should invest in health affairs because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Government should also support the college of health about to be established so that they would train most of our idle youths who are waiting to study white elephant courses, which may not fetch them any job. Any field of health is marketable all over the whole world,” said the monarch.
Speaking on behalf of the hospital administrator, Rev. Canon Okwuchukwu Tochukwu, hospital secretary, Mr. Nonso Anene, reiterated the dual mission statement of the IMH, which includes providing quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to people, and being on top of the training of health professionals.
He urged the students to embrace the fear of God and empathy as they become professionals who will interface with patients during healthcare delivery.
The trio of Mr. Ekene Okafor, Mrs. Adaobi Udeh and Mr. Cyprain Nnebo encouraged their matriculating wards to be focused on their academic pursuits, saying they would do their best to help the students realize their dreams.