Abia State University (ABSU) Uturu, has lost its Nigerian University Commission (NUC) accreditation, meaning the School will no longer admit new students to study Medicine and Surgery.
This news was made known by the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Abia State chapter. The accreditation was withdrawn by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) following some inadequacies the universities regulatory body unearthed. The Teaching hospital is the training environment for the Clinical Medical Students and forms part of the teaching facilities.
In his words, the NMA Chairman Abia State Chapter, Dr. Chimezie Okwuonu, said:
“It is really a devastating news that the Medical School in ABSU has lost its Nigerian University Commission accreditation.
“What this means is that the school will no longer admit new students to study Medicine and Surgery in that citadel of learning,” the body said.
“It may not be unrelated to the non-functional state of the Teaching Hospital, the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba, which is a teaching facility for the medical students.
“For a considerable period, the teaching hospital, ABSUTH has been plagued by interrupted operations due to agitations and industrial actions by the workers over irregular payment of salaries.
“Currently, as of the end of April 2022, the staff in the ABSUTH are owed 25 months salary arrears.
“The Resident Medical Doctors have been on a cumulative 18 months strike; other health workers are also on strike while a few of the doctors, mainly the consultants, medical officers, and locum staff, though not officially on strike, are largely not working, as the work environment is not in order.”
He further explained that the labour unions have made several failed attempts to resolve this.
“The NMA at both state and national levels, over the last 18 months, has met with the state governor for a record five times.
“The National President of the NMA, Prof. Ujah, visited the Abia state governor in November 2021 and hinted at the cumulated salary arrears of the workers and its impact on the morale of workers and training.
He said several agencies of the government had been visited and discussed this issue, with promises made in all these instances but not actualized.
“If only the government and its agencies had listened and collaborated with the NMA and other unions, and the needful done, this loss of accreditation would have been avoided.”
He, therefore, suggested that the teaching hospital be fully functional to avoid losing the accreditation of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria which usually follows.
“If we lose it, clinical training will stop and the students will be trapped in between,” he said, calling for a bulk payment of salary out of the 25 months salary owed, regular monthly salary subvention, and a committed approach to solve some management and training issues in the teaching hospital, among others.