The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has expressed Federal Government’s readiness to support and collaborate with the University of Abuja in the area of human capital development, particularly the training and certification for Paramedics in the Institution and across the country.
Dr Ehanire made this known on Tuesday, when he received the delegation from University of Abuja, led by its Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, in his Conference Room, Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
Welcoming the delegation, the Minister said, “Health and Education are the pillars of human capital development, therefore, the idea of collaboration in this area is a very welcome development.” He also noted that the paramedics training programme of the University aligns with the vision of the National Emergency Management and Ambulance System (NEMSAS), which is currently being spear headed by the Ministry.
While responding to issues earlier raised by the VC and his team, the Minister advised the University to also consider devising other innovative ways of tackling the issue of human capital development, to which he made the following suggestions: Co-opting the National Hospital Abuja into the University Teaching Hospital system, conversion of brain-drain to brain-gain through diaspora engagement, Developing paramedics programmes for NEMSAS, Organizing local trainings and utilization of Healthcare workers, Introducing special programmes in school of nursing and Telemedicine among others.
Briefing the Honourable Minister earlier, on the purpose of the visit, the Director, Public Private Partnership, Diaspora & Intergovernmental Collaborations, Prof. Sydney Ibeanusi informed that the visit was part of intergovernmental collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Health and to intimate the Hon. Minister of some of the programmes and activities of the University that are of mutual benefits to both the University and the Ministry, adding that part of those programmes was the programme on training of paramedics.
The Vice Chancellor who was accompanied by the Deputy VC Academic, Prof. Clement Alawa, Provost, College of Health Science, Prof Mustapha Jamda Abubakar, Director, Centre for Paramedics & Emergency Health Services, Prof. Oseremen Aisuodionoe-Shadrach, Director Advancement, Dr Yusuf Lawal and Dr. J.O. Obande of Paramedics and Health Emergency Health Services, commended the Minister for what he has been able to achieve in the Health Sector so far, particularly in the area of the NEMSAS programme which he said aligns with the vision of the Paramedics training programme of the University.
The VC however expressed concern over the fate of those currently undergoing the National Diploma Programme in paramedics at the University, as there is currently no career path for them in the scheme of service.
He also sought the urgent intervention of the Government through the Honourable Minister, in the following areas: To develop and approve the release of two year Higher National Diploma (HND) curriculum for Paramedics Technology Programme, To develop, approve and circulate through the National Council of Establishment, the scheme of Service for Paramedics, to enable them have placement and career progression within the public and private sectors of the country, To encourage and facilitate the immediate result verification and accreditation visitation exercise to any sub-paramedics training programme in Nigeria.
The UniAbuja team therefore appealed to the Government to prioritize and treat as urgent, the issue of career path, proper certification and development of curriculum for the Paramedics programme as it has multiplier effect on both the academia and the health sector.
On the issue of career path and certification for trained Paramedics, the Director, Public Health, Dr Alex-Okoh, advised that the University channel their request through an official letter to the Honourable Minister, to enable the Ministry take it up from there.
Also present at the occasion were the Chief Medical Director, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Prof. Ahmed Ahidjo, Director Hospital Services, Dr Salma Anas, Senior Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad and other top Management staff of the Ministry.
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