he Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Lafia, Prof. Shehu Abdul-Rahman, has commended Sen. Umaru Al-Makura (APC-Nasarawa South) for sponsoring a bill for the establishment of the University’s teaching hospital in Lafia.
Abdul-Rahman gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, in Lafia.
The Vice Chancellor also appreciated all other stakeholders who supported the bill during the public hearing before the Senate committee on Health, on Thursday, June 24, in Abuja.
He noted that the establishment of the teaching hospital in Lafia had become imperative for the effective training of students of its College of Medicine, established with the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
According to the vice chancellor, the university was currently running six programmes in two faculties – Basic Medical Sciences and Allied Health Sciences in the College of Medicine.
“Students in the various programmes will soon be getting to their clinical training year and will need a teaching hospital for them to be effectively trained.
“The establishment of the teaching hospital in Lafia is also important because in the middle belt, the teaching hospital closest to the Federal University of Lafia is that of the University of Jos, which is over 200 kms away and it will not be convenient for us to have a teaching hospital faraway.
“In view of this, the Nasarawa State Government has made huge efforts to support the university by building and donating structures for the commencement of the college, as well as land for its expansion.
“The government also offered the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) Lafia, for the immediate take-off of the teaching hospital for the students already enrolled in the college of medicine,” Abdul-Rahman said.
The vice chancellor pointed out that apart from training doctors and other health workers to make up for the shortfall in Nasarawa state, the establishment of the teaching hospital would also serve to improve healthcare service delivery in the state and its environs.
He added that when established, the hospital would also serve as a health research centre for the benefit of the entire country.
Also, Dr Ikrama Hassan, the Chief Medical Director of DASH, Lafia, said that in taking over the specialist hospital as a teaching hospital, the Federal Government would only spend a little to upgrade facilities, unlike other places where it needed to build from the scratch.
He explained that DASH already had the necessary equipment, manpower and structures required of a teaching hospital, including accreditation in five major departments of medicine to train, adding that as a teaching hospital it would avail various categories of personnel the opportunity to be trained internally.
The teaching hospital would also improve healthcare delivery, as some areas of speciality often referred to facilities outside the state would be domesticated.
The CMD added that the teaching hospital would leverage the state-of-the-art research centre built by the state government in Lafia, to embark on research into emerging peculiar health challenges in the state and the region.
At the public hearing on the teaching hospital bill, NAN recalled Sen. Al-Makura lamenting that it was not proper for the people of Lafia to travel over 200 kms to access a tertiary health centre, as the situation “is causing avoidable deaths of people, in need of such health care services.
“If you look at the location of Lafia in Nasarawa state, you will see that people within Lafia will travel up to 200 kms before they can access a tertiary or a referral health service, and that is not acceptable in the 21st century,” he said