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UNIOSUN medical students can continue studies in LAUTECH
A former Board Chairman, Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji, in this interview with TUNDE ODESOLA, speaks on the challenges facing the hospital, among other topical issues affecting health care delivery.
What’s your view on the Supreme Court judgment which stated that the
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology belongs to Osun and Oyo states.
The judgment reflects the beauty of democracy. It
was a long drawn battle between Oyo and Osun states with the former
claiming that the hospital belonged to it. This claim was stoutly
resisted by the Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led administration through
the Office of the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,
Mr Niyi Owolade. I congratulate the incumbent Osun State Governor, Mr.
Rauf Aregbesola, and his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi,
over the judgment.
The implication is that LAUTECH belongs to both Osun
and Oyo states; both states now jointly share vicarious liabilities and
assets of the institution. It is unfortunate that technocrats and
bureaucrats mislead governments most of the time; a lot of our
colleagues misadvise governments at all levels. The former Governor of
Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, for instance, was misadvised. In
the same vein, when we told our people in Osun that government cannot
afford two teaching hospitals, some of our colleagues disagreed because
of their personal interest – they did not want to lose their empires.
How can Osun, a poor state, afford two teaching hospitals when a CT
Scan machine costs N200m and a Magnetic Resonance Image machine costs
What’s your view about the plan to send students of the University of Osun to Ukraine to complete their medical studies?
Currently, some characters are advising Governor
Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to send medical students of Osun State
University to Ukraine in order to complete their studies because the
school does not have an approved medical college. This is wrong. I know
what I’m saying because I trained in the former Soviet Union, I later
went to the University of Wales College of Medicine and Kings College
Hospital Medical School, London, for my specialist training. I have a
Ph.D in Nuclear Medicine and another Ph.D in Cancer Immunology. It’s
nonsensical and misleading to advise the government to send the medical
students abroad when LAUTECH is available.
The implication of sending students to Ukraine is
that apart from the high expenses, the students will spend about seven
years to complete their studies. One, they will spend a year to learn
the new language and two, when they return to Nigeria, they will need
to write and pass the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council examination.
If anyone had the interest of the students at heart such an advice
should have be thrown to the dustbin. Who is going to fund the trip and
tuition? How much would it cost per student? Can’t the students be
farmed out here in Nigeria?
What is the essence of running two teaching schools
of LAUTECH in Osogbo and Ogbomoso and yet the government cannot farm
these students to the teaching hospitals? Can the poor parents afford
the tuition fees? Or is it the government that will solely foot the
bill? If they are farmed out to Ukraine, they will begin from the
scratch but if they are farmed out here in Nigeria, the worst case
scenario is that a 400-level student might be asked to go and start
from 200-level. Obviously some people are trying to profiteer in the
Ukraine thing. Osun is a partner in the LAUTECH enterprise, therefore,
LAUTECH should take care of Osun medical students.
The medical school in Ogbomoso is another available
teaching hospital that can absorb the students too. We should make use
of this infrastructure; why should anybody mislead the government by
sending students abroad when an arrangement can be brokered between the
government, the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council and the National
Universities Commission to ensure that the students are absorbed.
Government is not closing Ogbomoso LAUTECH Teaching Hospital down, so,
why send the students to Ukraine. Let’s optimise the use of our
resources, let’s not allow technocrats and bureaucrats to mislead the
government. They tried to mislead the government during Oyinlola’s time
and I think they should have backed down on that but they haven’t. It’s
baffling that some people still want to hold the government down, I
don’t want to mention names but if they don’t desist, I will begin to
mention names and their contributions in minutes of past meetings. It’s
unfortunate that academics, especially, would point accusing fingers at
the political class when things go wrong, whereas, they (academics) are
the ones who wrongly advise politicians. They wrongly advised
Alao-Akala on the issue of LAUTECH ownership and they tried to do the
same thing with Oyinlola but the former governor was circumspect over
the issue. Prof Olu Aina, Mr Niyi Owolade and I had sleepless nights
working things out on the issue of LAUTECH ownership with former
What’s your view on the LAUTECH ownership crisis that set former Governors Oyinlola and Alao-Akala against each other?
The crisis could be seen from two major
perspectives. While it was political opportunism for some people, it
was professional opportunism for some medics and academics, who were
creating an empire for themselves. This is why I said Osun and Oyo
should be congratulated over the Supreme Court judgment. During the
administration of Oyinlola, we saw the project as a joint project and
were committed to it. Oyo was saying that Osun had UNIOSUN and so it
would hijack Osogbo LAUTECH, but we told them they could go and
establish a state university too as Osun did. It was puerile for Oyo to
say then that they wanted LAUTECH because Osun had UNIOSUN.
LAUTECH is a joint patrimony, which had been jointly
funded by both states from inception till date and to wake up one day
and say because Osun has UNIOSUN, it should cede LAUTECH to Oyo is
puerile. But the fact is that Osun cannot afford to fund two teaching
hospitals for now and Governor Aregbesola has made this clear – I agree
with the governor on this because it is unrealistic and it makes no
economic sense to fund two teaching hospitals. How can Osun run a
teaching hospital in LAUTECH and UNIOSUN?
What do you think is responsible for the seeming rise in the incidence of cancer in Nigeria?
I don’t think there is an upsurge in cancer cases in
Nigeria. I think science has only made it easier for us to detect cases
of cancer than ever before. Cancer cases do not need to reach advanced
stages nowadays before they are detected – unlike in those days when
they were detected late.
Do you share the view that lifestyles lead to cancer cases nowadays?
Yes. Some of the things we do and the lifestyle we
live make us to be predisposed to cancer. Pollution is an example. But
we are even more able to detect it now more than we could in the past.
The argument that cancer cases are on the rise is neither here nor
there. Fact is, our forebears took more farm fresh fruits and
vegetables than we do. More people smoke now than before. When I was in
high school, it was an aberration to smoke but now, you see young ones
at swimming pools smoking heavily. If these are the things we say
predispose us to cancer, I say yes but this is not just to cancer alone
but other forms of illnesses.
How can cancer be prevented?
We should try as much as possible to live healthy
lifestyles and don’t overdo anything. We should watch the kind of
things we eat and be conscious of the pollutants in our environment.
Having said that, there’s no insurance against cancer! If you take a
thousand persons that smoke, more of them will have lung cancer and if
you take a thousand that don’t smoke, some of them will still have
From the immunological school, we sometimes define
cancer as the product of the breakdown of the host immune response to
particular factor ‘K’ which is a variable within certain parameters.
What this means is that if your immune system is intact you might not
have cancer. What breaks it down in Mr A is not what breaks it down in
Mr B. There is a lot of research going on in this regard. The study of
cancer is a multi-disciplinary endeavour. In the not too distant
future, science will be able to curtail cancer scourge though better
understanding of molecular biology, immunology and genetic engineering.
What is the stage of nuclear medicine in Nigeria?
It is at a very infantile stage. Gladly, Chief Afe
Babalola donated a building for Nuclear Medicine Department at the
University College Hospital, Ibadan. There was no Nuclear Medicine
department in Nigeria before his donation. It took the kindness and
generosity of Chief Babalola to donate these. In UCH they have a gamma
camera, they have a radioisotope and other equipment. You have to send
patients abroad, there’s no way only UCH can cope with the rest of the
What are the uses of Nuclear Medicine?
It’s very useful in the diagnoses of systemic and
organic diseases and sometimes in their treatments. It gives you a
dynamic and functional diagnosis. If I do a liver scan for example, I
can tell you, with nuclear medicine, the functional evaluation of the
liver, I can tell you particularly how the liver is functioning.
The bellow was a mail carefully escorted with an SMS I got in the early hours of the starting day of a pleasant working week.
Like many hoping to land that dream job, get a change of appointment, I hurriedly moved to my mail box to retrieve the mail, only to meet the most scandalous email I've received in years. You've never seen SCAM so perfectly put in your entire job-hunting life.
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Meanwhile, you are hereby invited for a brief discussion with the HRM of MegaNet Resource Limited.
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