By James Shim and Egbe Attah
Governor Samuel Ortom has donated the General Hospital Otukpo to the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo for use as Teaching Hospital.
The donation of the hospital is unconditional and would be used as temporary Teaching Hospital, one of the prerequisites for running of a medical school.
Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Prof Innocent Ujah disclosed this to The Voice in an exclusive interview in his office.
He said already, some level of work has been done on the hospital awaiting official handover.
“Some work has been done. All we are waiting for now is the official handing -over of the structure to the Federal Ministry of Health”, he said.
The VC said the feat is as a result of commitment and the zeal to succeed on the vision and mission for the institution both on the side of government, staff and the people.
“Within one year, we were able to admit students to study Medicine and other courses. In fact, when NUC said we would not be able I said we would and with the commitment of my staff, we have succeeded.
“Tradition demands that as a medical student you must be accommodated on campus. So, we are going into the second year and the issue of accommodation is being adequately addressed. The beauty of it all is that some of the community members were very fast. Before we knew some of them started building structures around the campus. We went into MOU with them and the buildings were leased to the school.
“The host community has been very supportive. Some indigenes even gave free accommodation to some of our staff. That is community development. Part of it is that when we started we carried out community sensitization. We involved community leaders and rulers. We even paid courtesy visits to the Och’Idoma and the Tor-Tiv and this has helped us greatly”, he explained.
According to Ujah, the institution started with nine (9) programmes, namely Medicine and Surgery, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Computer Science, Biostatistics, Biology, Physics as well as Mathematics and has zero tolerance to vices such as cultism and exam malpractices.
“For my staff, if you are giving admission to anybody you must not ask for money. Here we don’t sell handouts. We are ICT compliant. As medical students we were given handouts but we never bought them. If you sell handouts here you go. There is nothing like sexual harassment. There’s nothing like a lecturer is drunk to class, even those staff who are not clinical. It’s in their appointment letters which they are made to sign and the moment you signed and you are involved and caught, you are going. You don’t need any disciplinary process because already you signed.
“The Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, reserve the right to terminate your appointment if it is established that you are involved in sexual harassment, examination malpractice, extortion, sale of handouts, cultism, substance- taking , drunkenness,” he stated.
Ujah further stated commitment to building a solid foundation for the growth and development of the institution and expressed belief of accreditation any time the body responsible for it comes.