The Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED, Ondo, Prof. Friday Okonofua has expressed optimism that the institution will get the full accreditation of the National Universities Commission by the end of October 2018.
He made the projection at the 8th Nigerian Young Academy (NYA) Conference and General assembly hosted by UNIMED, Ondo in conjuction with Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) and the Interacademy Partnership (iap).
Okonofua, welcoming delegates at the conference said in less than 3 years, the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo has achieved a lot in its bid to be a ‘thriving medical and health sciences University, locally, nationally and internationally recognized for excellence and innovation in health education’.
“It was only in April, 2015 that we got a letter from the NUC that allowed us to start this University with just five courses, and since then we have made many phenomenal milestones including the fact that we now have about 15 disciplines across six faculties”, Okonofua stated.
“In fact, our MBBS and BDS programmes have passed three major hurdles in seeking accreditation of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and by October this year, we are very hopeful to get full accreditation of National Universities Commission”, he added.
Prof. Okonofua described as apt the theme of 8th NYA conference which is “MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH: A Cornerstone for sustainable Development”.
“When I saw the theme of this conference, I said this is very appropriate and this is the right place to be because in the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, we promote excellence in multidisciplinary research. In the next few years, when you are talking about multidisciplinary approach in medicine or health sciences, this will be the University to visit because we work as a single family”, Okonofua said.
Professor David Mba who is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of Technology at De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom gave the Keynote speech entitled, “Multidisciplinary research, a cornerstone for sustainable development”.
He explained that multi-disciplinary study is one that draws on knowledge from different disciplines but stays within their established boundaries saying such leads to developments that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Prof. Mba opined that Science should be recognized as a universal public good that lays the foundation for a sustainable world. He recommended acknowledgement of Basic Science as a principal requirement for innovation to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
High point of the occasion was the presentation of awards which started with the Professor Oyewale Tomori National Young Scientists’ Prize for Microbiology bagged by Dr. Dahunsi Olatunde Samuel.
The Professor Friday E. Okonofua National Young Scientists’ Prize for the Health Sciences goes to Dr. Kingsley Nnanna Ukwaja, a senior resident physician and epidemiologist whose interdisciplinary research interest lies at the nexus of tropical medicine, global and respiratory health.
Dr Eseoghene Helen Umuokoro and Dr. Peter Chukwunonso Okoli shared the Professor Kayode Adebowale National Scientists’ Prize for the Chemical Sciences.