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Non-Accreditation Blues For Medical Students

Medicine is a time-consuming course. It takes all of six years to study. It has become longer for medical students of the Kogi State University (KSU), Anyigba. Reason: their College of Health Sciences remains unaccredited, causing delay of up to five years for some of them.  ISRAEL AROGBONLO reports.
Some students of the Kogi State University, Anyigba are aggrieved about the seeming nonchalance of the government, which owns the school, in meeting the requirements for the accreditation of its medical programme.
The university introduced the programme in 2012 during Governor Idris Wada’s administration.  Despite not being accredited, it has been listed by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in the Brochure of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for the past five years.
The students, under the aegis of the Medical Students Association (KSMSA), told CAMPUS LIFE that the non-accreditation of the course had brought them agony. They wondered why the government has been silent on the matter.
The College of Health Sciences has three sets of medical students – two of which are still in 200-Level (A and B), the third, 300-Level.
CAMPUSLIFE learnt that the students  have been stagnant for over  five years because of their inability to write the professional examination to qualify them for clinical training in the teaching hospital.
The state had set up a committee in December 2016 to work within six weeks and give a feedback, but the committee was reported to have worked for 12 months.
Some students told CAMPUSLIFE that the committee was supposed to recommend the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja, but “decided to go for an upgrade of an ill-staffed, unequipped and structurally backward diagnostic hospital in the university town for selfish reasons”.
However, its Provost, Prof Margaret Araoye, noted that as at November last year, the college had admitted four sets of medical students.  Following the stagnation of the pioneer set for three years in 200-Level, the government collaborated with the management to send them out to other institutions (on bonded scholarship that on graduation, they would work three years for the state).
A statement credited to the provost on a social media site, Nairaland, noted that the institution was making efforts to get accredited in November.
“Although the college is currently facing accreditation issues and as such caused the pioneer set to be stagnant for three years in 200 level, with intervention from the government and collaboration with the school management, the pioneer students were farmed out to other universities to prevent them from stagnating further while the school works towards meeting the 2018 November accreditation deadline,” the statement noted.
The Nation reported on April 17 that the students, during a protest, urged the management to address the problem.
The student called off the protest, meeting with the Provost at the Senate building.
A student, who declined to give his name, said they had gone too far to turn back, urging the government to take quick measures to address the issue.
The 300-Level student of Medicine and Surgery said: “I believe something positive must happen at the end, either the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) is approved or what happened to the first set will be repeated. For the school management, we don’t have access to them as we don’t know their plan for now. It will be wickedness on their part if they are still waiting for diagnostic to be approved. Only God is our hope for now.”
A KSMSA Chieftain described the situation as a neglect of their fundamental human rights He said: “We would love a situation where our voice is been heard and our views are given appropriate concern. We have been in the Medical school for a long while and we are currently being stagnated, not because Kogi lacks the funds or the infrastructure, but because inappropriate planning and political struggle between tribes are at play here. Yet our destiny remains hanging.”
Another student from Medicine and Surgery Department said the management doing its best for the students emphasising the need for the government to be more proactive in its approach.
He said: “The management is being positive and is doing their best for the students. But the issue is with the government that is not being proactive in ensuring all the requirements for the accreditation – funds, manpower and other alternatives are provided.
“The only hope is if the government expedites action in providing funds or alternatives to meeting the demands at stake.
“Destiny is worth fighting for, I believe there  must be a light at the end of the tunnel. We will continue to fight for our destiny and demand for what is rightfully ours.”
An academic staff from the Department of Human Physiology, who asked not to be named: said the management was “seriously working hard to help the students out of the situation.”
He added: “It is important to note that the students in the college are undergoing a serious challenge due to the lack of accreditation in the college, but the school is doing what it deems fit to help the affected students.
“The management has been trying its best to see that this saga is checkmated, but we know Medical School is not a simple thing to run.”
A senior lecturer in the Community Medicinal Department, who did not  wish to be named, advised the students to stay focused and strong-willed if they must find a way out of the issue.
He said: “My advice is for the students to be encouraged though things are bad, but it will not always be like this. If any students get a way out, I suggest they follow it. Progress is progress, no matter how small.
“Nobody wants the students to be stagnant, but the situation of things are not so good and I suggest a way forward that will not stagnate the students again.
“As long as God’s plan is standard, there is hope we can always look forward to a better tomorrow, where the government would live to fulfill its words.”
Efforts to reach the government’s spokesperson failed as at the time of filing this report.

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