College of Health Sciences,
Kogi State University,
Anyigba, Kogi state.
18th April, 2018.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello
The Executive Governor of Kogi State
FMC, Lokoja: The Cheapest, Fastest and Most Realistic Option Towards Achieving Accreditation.
After thorough researches, profuse deliberations and exhaustive fact finding subjected to intense scrutiny, the entire students of the College of Health Sciences, Kogi State University, Anyigba have reached an unequivocal conclusion from logical comparisons between the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja and Kogi State Diagnostic Center, Anyigba as options for the choice of a teaching hospital for the College.
The underlying reason for this proposal is the fact that we as students of the College of Health Sciences, who were offered provisional admission in Kogi State University have been in school for 5 years and we remain in 300 Level without any hope of progressing due to the fact that the college has not been accredited. Our colleagues in this and other universities have advanced in their studies and many have even graduated.
The University and the State Government had made promises to us that they were going to ensure we get the accreditation and several attempts have been made to this effect. The State Government has even promised that we would get the accreditation in May this year.
However, as it stands, the College is far from being qualified for accreditation as most of the requirements for the accreditation have not been met. It does not even appear that we can get the accreditation this year as the cost of meeting the requirements for the accreditation is too high.
As a matter of fact, we have been promised accreditation times without number. We have been told we will be accredited in May and thereafter, it will be postponed to November and then May the next year. This has continued year in, year out and we as students are tired of it. If we fail to get accreditation this year we will invariably end up spending at least 10 years if not more, in the medical school.
Being the most affected in this situation, we the students have come up with a proposal to the State Government on the cheapest, fastest and surest way of achieving accreditation this year.
The minimum requirements of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for any teaching hospital are categorized, viz:
- Equipment and facilities
- Personnel (teaching and administrative staff)
Kogi State Diagnostic Center is a state-owned facility located in Anyigba, Kogi state. From current (and easily verifiable) research, it is grossly under-staffed, having not more than five consultants, with dilapidated structures and inadequate equipment and facilities. Just recently, the University Management advertised for clinicians and none showed up for the screening exercise. In stark contrast, the Federal Medical Centre is a federal government property in Lokoja (the State Capital). The Centre has not less than 73 consultants across the various departments with trained medical doctors in various fields and attendant nurses qualified to train other professionals (even from foreign countries) up to post-graduate level. Infrastructure, including well-equipped medical laboratories and conference rooms, that can simply be upgraded and converted into standard clinical laboratories and classrooms are also already on ground. As a matter of fact, according to reliable sources, the Nigerian Universities Commission after assessing the Federal Medical Center approves of its suitability to train medical students.
We express immense gratitude for the stellar efforts of the Kogi State Government so far in farming out the pioneer students of this College, providing scholarships for them and making promises to get the College accredited in record time. We want to expressly declare that we absolutely believe in and are committed to the New Direction Agenda of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello as well as its continuity. What we find hard to swallow and consider unprofitable for the State Government as well as the short- and long-term welfare of the College, however, is the choice of Kogi State Diagnostic Center, Anyigba as the temporary site for the College Teaching Hospital. As we have and shall still evidently apprise you of, the Diagnostic Center is undeniably more capital-intensive, more time-consuming and relatively less realistic when compared with the option of the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja which already has nearly all necessary infrastructure with staff currently placed on Federal Government salaries. The staff will therefore, only require earned academic allowances which will cost the State Government meagre amounts that will sum up to mere stipends.
Furthermore, Kogi State Diagnostic Center will require the construction of clinical laboratory complexes, an accessible library, and new classrooms for clinical classes all from the scratch; numerous qualified consultants as well as administrative staff for all the clinical departments will also need to be employed -most of which the Federal Medical Center already has-to meet the minimum requirements of the Nigerian Universities Commission and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for the accreditation of a College of Medicine. Seeing therefore, that the project at the Kogi State Diagnostic Center is costlier, will require enormous time for completion and already shows strong ominous indications of ineffectiveness, the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja is the quicker, more effective and by far less costly option of the two.
In addition to the foregoing, the Federal Medical Center is located in Lokoja, the State Capital, is also home to Stella Obasanjo Library. Sited in the same location and proximal to the Federal Medical Center, the Stella Obasanjo Library is a facility large enough to be adopted as the Clinical Library of the College Teaching Hospital if renovated at minimal cost. Also, apartments in the deserted Confluence Beach Hotel or any other abandoned government building in Lokoja may be allocated to the College as Clinical Students’ Hostel and the College buses already available may shuttle the students between these locations.
We are aware that Kogi State Diagnostic Center will require humongous financing; it will also need human resources as well as infrastructural development that will cost billions of naira running to astronomic figures. We also understand that, secondary to the financial constraint imposed by the current economic emergency in the country, the Kogi State Government cannot at this point afford the exorbitant amount required for this project. Against this backdrop, the entire students of the College of Health Sciences, Kogi State University, in unanimity hereby strongly suggest that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) be signed between the Kogi State Government (in collaboration with the College) and the Federal Ministry of Health. The MoU will be to the effect that the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja be used as the temporary site of the College Teaching Hospital while work continues at the Diagnostic Center, Anyigba (the permanent site). If this is done, as we expect it will, the accreditation of the College of Health Sciences, Kogi State will be achieved shortly- and that in record time, as promised by Governor Yahaya Bello.
To further accentuate the integrity and near infallibility of the Federal Medical Center plan, we have below a few examples of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria that adopted such a plan and now have full accreditation. They include:
- Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (Federal Medical Center and Specialist Hospital, Ebonyi) where our pioneer students were transferred to just recently
- Gombe State University Teaching Hospital (Federal Medical Center, Gombe)
- A private university, Afe-Babalola University/Federal Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti (Federal Medical Center, Ado-Ekiti)
- Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma (Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital)
- Kaduna State University, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital (Specialist Hospital, Kaduna)
We believe this resolution will be subjected to further scrutiny that will produce positive results in the form of its adoption, speedy implementation towards achieving accreditation this year.
Signed: ALL Medical Students
Kogi State University, Anyigba
The Secretary to the State Government
The Chief of Staff, Kogi state
The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Health
The Honourable Commissioner for Health
The Chairman, Kogi State University Governing Council
The Vice Chancellor, Kogi State University, Anyigba
The Provost, College of Health Sciences
The Chief Medical Director, Kogi State University Teaching Hospital
The Nigerian Medical Association
It should be recalled that in the August/September 2015 NUC accreditation report status, the College of Health Sciences, Kogi State University was denied accreditation. The university set up a committee to address the review of NUC, but till date, nothing tangible has been done to annul the NUC status.
The students of this college were offered provisional admission but only to be left without care by the university due to some political and ethnic sentiments. The school management has continued to refuse to look elsewhere when they could not meet the NUC requirement. On this note, we the students of the college have decide to rescue ourselves and provide that missing link to the puzzle by suggesting the fastest and cheapest option which is the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja.
The methodology adopted by the student of the college of health sciences, Kogi State University was research based.
Every student was part of the team to gather all the necessary information which was later analysed and recommendation made by various representatives from every class in the medical school. The result was consequently adopted by all the students of the college.
The following were the topics deliberated on by the students in various congresses:
- Lack of academic staff in the clinical department
- Provision of a standard teaching hospital (which is item 5 on the school committee report): NUC observed in the last accreditation that there was no standard teaching hospital for the programme. The physical facilities needed to make any hospital standard enough include
- Construction of 4 laboratories
- Provision of classroom blocks (3)
- Provision of 250 capacity college auditorium
- Provision of 3 coaster buses.
- Laboratory spaces for the clinical arm being inadequate according to NUC report
- Provision of library building and also provision of handbooks and e-library facilities
- Relativity allowance of staff
On critical assessment of the Diagnostic Center, the students observed the following
- There were no provision for the 4 laboratories at the Diagnostic Center
- There is no classroom blocks at the diagnostic hospital
- No auditorium at the diagnostic hospital
- The diagnostic hospital has less than 5 consultants and no consultant applied for employment in a recent recruitment exercise. (We don’t understand fully why clinicians failed to apply).
- The clinical arm has only one bus for the department of community medicine
- Around the environment of the diagnostic hospital, no government facility can easily be converted to augment the needed physical facilities
- No clinical department available
The students also assessed the Federal Medical Center and observed:
- That the Federal Medical Center currently has all the clinical departments needed and as a matter of fact have started training postgraduate students.
- That other government facilities can be used temporarily such as the Stella Obasanjo library, Confluence Beach Hotel and the Ultra-Modern Multipurpose Diagnostic Complex. All the laboratories can be found in this facility.
- It will take less time and almost no cost to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government than to start building departments in diagnostic hospital Anyigba. (The estimated time duration for the full upgrade of the Diagnostic Center is about 2 years which will increase the stagnation length of the student).
- That the Federal Medical Center has a total of about 73 consultants spread across the various departments of the hospital and staff strength takes a major bulk of about 60% of the total requirement for a standard teaching Hospital.
- Both will require more buses: Any bus bought can be brought back as it is not a static facility
Being the most affected, we the students make an unbiased recommendation:
Since it will cost about 1.5 billion naira to build and equip the clinical department needed at the diagnostic center, we recommend and suggest the Federal Medical Center as the temporary site of the teaching hospital in order to achieve accreditation this year.
After days of deliberation and in-depth analysis we therefore conclude that the Federal Medical Center cost less and faster than using the Diagnostic Center (Note: full upgrade of diagnostic center cost about 1.7 billion and also takes a duration of about 2 year minimum).
Terms of Reference:
- NUC minimum requirement guideline
- Report of the committee on review of the National Universities Commission accreditation report (August/September, 2015) on college of health sciences, KSU
- Students’ surveys and facility assessment.