From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Senate Chief Whip and senator representing Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has concluded arrangement to give 700 Nigerians scholarship to study Medicine in universities of their choice in the country and abroad.
The media aide (South East) to Kalu, Maduka Okoro who made this known in a statement said the scholarship would be anchored by Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation.
“In the quest to provide quality health care services and improved health conditions for Nigerians, the senator representing Abia North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, through the Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation, has inaugurated a fully-funded scholarship scheme to benefit 700 Nigerians across the 36 states of the federation during the 2021/22 academic year.
“The scholarship scheme offers beneficiaries the opportunity to pursue courses in the medical discipline obtainable from both foreign and Nigerian universities. In our mutual interest and quest for quality, affordable and accessible health care delivery, the scholarship intervention offers hope for our brilliant but indigent youth to attain their lofty goals in life.”
The statement said on successful completion of their courses, it is expected that the current doctor-to-patient ratio, which it said was below the World Health Organisation’s recommendation, would have been abridged to a considerable level.
“The beneficiaries would have also been well trained and highly skilled enough to deliver quality healthcare services and products to their communities in line with their mandate and profession. This is with the overall goal of improved conditions of health, wellness and well-being of the Nigerian people.”
Okoro said there was no denying the fact that this approach to health care development would go a long way in bridging the yawning gap that exist in efforts to provide quality, affordable and accessible health care services to Nigerians, especially those residing in rural communities.
Okoro disclosed that a 2018 study in the Lancet of Global Health Care Access and Quality ranked Nigeria 142 out of 195 countries, stressing that it was against this backdrop that Kalu through his Foundation, inaugurated the scholarship scheme.
He said the first 50 beneficiaries who are qualified Nigerians would be placed on fully-funded scholarship in highly-rated medical schools in Venezuela, South America, while 650 others would be assisted to purchase and process their JAMB application forms, preparatory to gaining admission into selected Nigerian universities across the nation for the fully-funded scholarship.
The goals and programmes of Orji Uzor Kalu Foundation align with the Nigeria’s national policy on health, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development goals number 3, Okoro said.