Lagos – Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, on Tuesday said Nigeria’s health indices still remain one of the poorest in the world inspite of its oil wealth.
Ogunsola made the assertion at the orientation programme tagged, “The White Coat Ceremony, ” held to welcome fresh medical students into the college.
“Africa comprises 11 per cent of the world’s population, but accounts for 25 per cent of the disease burden and hosts just four per cent of the healthcare workforce.
“We are currently in transition and have the twin peaks of communicable disease (infection) and non-communicable disease which are associated with a more westernised lifestyle.
“The nation looks to us to solve its health problems and that is serious business,” she said.
Ogunsola, however, urged the students to be conscious of the privilege and responsibility associated with choosing a career in healthcare.
She said that the orientation was to educate them on the qualities of their profession, moulding men and women of integrity and dedication to the service of humanity.
“My job today is to let you all know the privilege and responsibility associated with choosing a career in healthcare.
“The idea of the white coat ceremony is to train mainly professionals in healthcare; we feel it is important to put in them the kind of people we want them to be.
“We have decided to start this training right from when they are coming into the college and not wait until their convocation,’’ Ogunsola said.
She advised them to plan toward the life that awaits them at the college, saying, “life at the college is not easy.’’
Ogunsola said that the management had set a task of moulding the students not just to be good at school, but to be men and women of good character that would build the nation.
The provost urged the students to be law abiding by observing the school and hostel rules, advising them to display a high level of decorum everywhere they went.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during the orientation programme, Access Bank PLC also presented laboratory coats to the students. (NAN)