Authorities of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan has urged the Federal Ministry of Health to upgrade its School of Nursing (SONUCHI) to a degree-awarding institution. The call was made by the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Professor Temitope Alonge, on the occasion of activities marking its 60th anniversary.
The week-long anniversary celebration was themed: "UCH Ibadan - Providing 60 years of excellent Nursing Education".
According to the CMD, the School of Nursing has everything required including ICT and other infrastructural facilities to make it a degree-awarding institution.
He stressed that products of the School currently hold top positions in both healthcare delivery institution and other public organizations, both within and outside Nigeria, competing effectively with their international contemporaries.
To the boss, products of the UCH's School of Nursing are widely exposed to latest discoveries in the medical world as the College has working relationship with various international organizations apart from being the first teaching hospital in the continent of Africa to be accredited in the area of robust Tele-medicine programme.
Justifying the need to upgrade the school to a degree-awarding institution, Alonge said that academic exchange programmes have already been put in place in collaboration with the Tele-medicine Unit of the College for the nursing students, to enable them cross fertilize ideas with their contemporaries in similar institutions in Israel, United States of America, England, among others.
Going down memory lane, the CMD said the school was established in July 1952, with only 12 students, adding that "it has so far produced over 5,000 nurses, midwives and other post-basic nursing professionals".
He further said that "the School has unequivocally remained on the top of the ladder in the training of health care professionals in Nigeria."
In his message, Alonge declared: "As we celebrate 60 years of excellent nursing education, the challenge of achieving greater height may be enormous, but with the unusual zeal shown to excel and the unflinching support of the management of UCH, SONUCHI (School of Nursing) is sure to grow in leaps and bounds.
"It is high time SONUCHI was upgraded to a degree awarding institution, disclosing that the UCH in conjunction with the Alumni of the School of Nursing planned to launch a N100 million development fund to further improve on the facilities of the school.
In the meantime, Professor Alonge told newsmen that as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebration and in appreciation of the pioneering effort of Miss Louise M. Bell (MBE), the first Principal of SONUCHI, the management has resolved to re-name the Block 1 of the School after her while the institution's big auditorium is also to be known as Omolola Alade Auditorium in honour of the longest serving Principal of the school who served in that capacity for 28 years, that is, from 1968 to 1992.
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