By Brenda Agba and Raphael Mailumo
The Benue State Government is committed to ensuring the successful running of Nursing at the Benue State University College of Health Sciences (CHS) as approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea, gave this assurance when the President, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCM), Alhaji Alhassan Ndagi, and members of his team visited him in the ministry as part of their advisory visit to the CHS in Makurdi.
The commissioner who commended Ndagi over his efforts towards obtaining the approval of NUC for the establishment of the Department of Nursing at the college noted that the development has attracted huge interest from prospective students given the ever increasing number of admission requests into the nursing programme which testifies to the critical importance of the profession in Benue State.
Earlier, the NMCM President, Alhaji Ndagi, commended the Provost, CHS, Prof. Linus Saalu for his support towards ensuring the establishment of the Nursing Programme, making Benue the third state within the North-Central region with NUC approved Department of Nursing alongside Universities of Jos and Ilorin.
According to Ndagi, Nursing graduands from the college upon completion of their programme, would have qualifications in four categories including Certifications in Nursing, Midwifery, Public Health and a Degree in Nursing which is commensurate with their global counterparts at any level of healthcare delivery.
Speaking further, the NCMC President said, “Nigerian nurses constitute more than half of healthcare professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and parts of Europe.
“It is however, a worrisome development given that the Council produces an average of nine thousand nurses annually out of which seven thousand are employed by foreign partners leaving Nigeria with only two thousand which is grossly inadequate.
“Therefore, the establishment of a Nursing Department in the state is a step in the right direction as it will produce more research-based and patient-focused nurses.”
He further commended Dr Ngbea for his administrative support to the College and proactive efforts in handling health issues in the state.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Health and Human Services, Sir Andrew Amee, thanked Alhaji Ndagi for his particular interest which has led to the take-off of the Nursing Degree Programme in the state, even as he commended Governor Samuel Ortom for his foresight in upgrading the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi, which he said would be remembered by posterity.
Also on Alhaji Ndagi’s team during the visit was the Provost, College of Health Sciences, Prof. Linus Saalu together with other senior management staff of the college.