Students’ practicum: Army hospital, Kaduna centre ink deal

By Inuwa Hamza Yunusa
Army hospital MOU

The Nigerian Army 44 Reference Hospital and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that paves the way for the students of the Faculty of Health Sciences to utilize the hospital’s facilities for their practicum.

The MoU will see students of BSc Nursing and Public Health Science in the institution effectively and efficiently making use of the hospital facilities and other relevant equipment for the exercise.

Acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Col. O. N. Onuchukwu in company of other high-ranking military officers of the medical formation at the conference hall of the hospital in Kaduna signed on behalf of the army hospital.

Speaking at the event, the Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Olufemi Peters, represented by the Dean, Faculty of Health Science, Prof. Shehu Usman Adamu, explained that the Nigerian military is full of professionals and consultants.

The dean expressed his profound gratitude to stand on-behalf of the Vice-Chancellor to extend his appreciation to the medical team of the hospital and the Nigerian army for accepting to partner with the university.

“Although, it’s a mutual engagement, because most of the students themselves are already registered nurses, the hospital may also benefit from their services. NOUN do not admit students to read BSc Nursing except if they are registered with the Nigerian Nursing and Midwives Council of Nigeria and are licensed,” the dean said.

Adamu explained that those in Public Health also have health background. “Most of them are health technologists, pharmacy technicians, dentist, environmental management and a host of other related health fields.”

He urged them to enroll in the university, saying that “I believe the military can read even in their trenches. When it calls for cease fire, they can lay their AK47 rifle aside and bring out their course materials and start reading. That is one of the beauty of the National Open University of Nigeria.”

Responding, Col. Onuchukwu stated that this is also part of the vision, the mission and the pillar of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya, “because he believes in collaboration and corporation with sister agencies, institutions. That is the main reason why the hospital is leveraging on to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.”

He said the signing was made possible by the corporation and understanding of the Corps Commander, Medical, Col. I. B Solebo, who was unavoidably absent at the ceremony on an official engagement with the Chief of Army Staff conference currently ongoing.

The 44 Army Reference Hospital, being the flagship hospital of the army and desiring to be the foremost hospital, he stated, remains the best place for the students to do their practicum “inasmuch as the hospital will be teaching them normal nursing process because we want them to know what is being done in the international scene.”

The Director, Kaduna Study Centre, Dr. Aminu Umar, who championed the collaboration, appreciated the acting Chief Matron of the Hospital, Col. Obidinma Fidelia Ekwutosi, whom, he said, had worked with tirelessly to ensure that the hospital and the National Open University of Nigeria witness the memorable day.