We Invite Our Living Legends to Join Us:
Date: Friday 10 November 2023
Time: 3pm – 6pm
Venue: Newly Refurbished Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre
Join Zoom Meeting CLICK HERE
Meeting ID: 844 7998 6011
“The elders are the history and mirror of the living past. Study them to brighten your life and future". ― Ehsan Sehgal--
On Friday, 11 November 2022, as a part of the activities of the week of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association Worldwide (ICOMAA-WW), we had the maiden edition of the “CoMUI, Learning from her Living Legends” programme.
The Learning from Her Living Legends programme was instituted primarily to reach out to our past teachers, administrators, and leaders, interact with them, learn from their wealth of experience, and receive counsel and ideas on ways of ensuring the continuous progress of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI). The objectives are to:
- Provide a forum for our retired teachers and administrators to interact with staff and students.
- Have conversations whereby our retired staff, based on their experiences, can talk about the past of the College, and share their perspectives on how we can ensure a better and brighter future for the College.
- Create a platform to learn from our retired teachers and administrators about how best we can support and partner with them in their retirement.
- Provide a forum for CoMUI staff, students, and alumni, to honour our retired teachers and administrators.
We are again having another edition of the Learning from Her Living Legends programme, and we invite all our Living Legends to Save The Date. We want to meet with you and learn from you.
The second edition of the programme will hold with details as follows:
Date: Friday, 11 November 2022
Time: 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Venue: Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre
We plan to share the programme in follow-up releases but first, we want to look back to the maiden event. We are grateful to all our dear teachers and mentors who attended. We had great speakers to learn from namely, Emeritus Professor E. Afolabi Bamgboye, Elizabeth Ibia Ette Etteh (Mrs), Dr. Toks Abiose, Emeritus Professor Babatunde O. Onadeko, and Professor Adeyombo Folasade Bolarinwa.
You can watch last year’s programme on YouTube at the following link: WATCH HERE
Today I am also delighted to share the speech delivered by Emeritus Professor Babatunde O. Onadeko, MA, MD (Dublin), FRCP (Edin & Lord) FACP, FCCP, FMCP, (Nig) FWACP, FNAMED, FNAMED, FAS, OFR and several photos from the event.
THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN-THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE
Reflections by a retired Faculty/College Staff- Emeritus Professor Babatunde O. Onadeko, MA, MD (Dublin), FRCP (Edin & Lord) FACP, FCCP, FMCP, (Nig) FWACP, FNAMED, FNAMED, FAS, OFR Friday, 11th November 2022
I want to thank the Provost, and the members of Management of the College, who invited me to give a 5-minute talk on my experiences as an academic member of this great college, during my working years in the Faculty/College, and my hope for future aspirations of the College.
First and foremost, I commend the vision and initiative of the Provost and her team for this idea to bring together, the retired staff of the College to a reunion, to show that they appreciate their contributions to the growth of the college. This is an encouraging and laudable expression of gratitude to those who had served the College and University until they retired.
The world is changing rapidly with unprecedented advancement in both the economic, health and education sectors. To keep pace with the rapid development, the management will need to brace up their efforts, seek advice and work hard, in order not to be left behind. The Faculty of Medicine of Ibadan pre-independence in 1960, is not the same as it is today. The very high standards being passed on from one generation to another must be maintained and surpassed.
The teachers in the medical school I attended abroad encouraged me to come to Ibadan because of the high reputation of Ibadan although my family was domiciled in Lagos. Just not to be disobedient, I decided that I would come to the University College Hospital Ibadan, for one year, and then relocate to Lagos! I am yet to relocate to Lagos, as of now!
I joined the Faculty of Medicine in 1974, having earlier served as Resident doctor in the University College Hospital from 1967.
Again, I thank the Management of the College of Medicine, for this initiative to invite retired Academic and Administrative Staff of the College to a Reunion. This is the first of its kind in my recollection. I have been asked to reflect briefly on my experience while on the staff and my aspirations and vision for the future.
I will speak under THREE HEADLINES:
- The Golden Years of Faculty/College (1960/1970 to the late 1980s)
- The Period of Trials/Challenges for the College (1986 – 1995/2000)
- The Future Years 2000 and beyond)
The Golden Years
This was the period when the Faculty/College was at the height of great reputation, locally and internationally. The tripartite functions of Teaching, Service and Research were pursued with pride, vigour, commitment, and satisfaction. Facilities for carrying out these functions were available. The Faculty/College was highly recognized locally and internationally. Research and Clinical Services were at their best.
The staff were highly motivated, academic pursuits were at its peak. Funds for infrastructure and research were available. There was no divided attention or distraction for members of staff. Our graduands were of high quality, recognized and accepted globally.
The decades of 1960 to 1980 were the golden years of the College of Medicine. There was mentorship and encouragement. The faculty transited to a College in 1980. The contributions of the College were recognized globally, and the faculty was particularly accorded a place of honour in research capability and productivity. These periods have produced eminent international research giants in virtually every department. I would not like to mention names, so as not to inadvertently omit any distinguished teachers (you know them all!!).
In the past, the faculty staff members were able to attract funds for research, both locally and internationally. The library had up-to-date journals, and facilities for training aboard for research were available, (what we called then, study leave). The younger members of staff were highly motivated, and distractions from academic pursuits were less, resulting in high productivity.
The facilities to disseminate the findings of research work were available. The College had a locally and internationally acceptable medical journal, "The African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences" in the late sixties. I am proud to have been an Editor-in-Chief of this journal in 1991.
I was appointed along with other able colleagues in the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and the College of Medicine to resuscitate the Journal in 1991, after I returned from my sabbatical year. Unfortunately, the Journal once again has gone into recess. Before I comment on research activities in the College, I have to say a few words about teaching and administration in the College during this golden era. The reports of external examiners at the various examinations in the college will attest to its highest quality.
The introduction of modern teaching facilities made teaching much easier and acceptable to students. The Medical Illustration unit, now the Biomedical Communications Centre (BCC) in the college was a thing of pride and prestige. The quality of our graduands was of a high standard and the students proved themselves wherever they practiced their profession both locally and aboard.
The Period of Trials and Challenges
The devaluation of the Naira in 1986 adversely affected the fortunes of the College and the Staff. The funds locally and internationally began to dry up. The infrastructure and provision of facilities began to dwindle. The morale of the academic staff began to nosedive. The family life of members of staff was also adversely affected.
Consequently, massive emigration to seek greener pastures began. Some members also left to seek satisfaction in their professional practice and academic fulfilment.
I commend the determination and resilience of the staff who were on ground, to keep the semblance of the standard of teaching, service, and research.
Regrettably, I must reflect on a period of concern, between 1986 to the end of the 20th century when the staff and students had to face significant challenges, because of the devaluation of the Naira in the country. Most activities were adversely affected because the funds were no longer readily available. To procure equipment, books, and journals for the library, attend international conferences and seminars, became difficult tasks. The infrastructure in the College was adversely affected also.
This period led to the massive emigration of many members of faculty to seek greener pastures for their family and to fund fulfilment in their academic pursuits. The determination, and strong will of the management during this challenging period, kept the functions and activities of the College going, although it was not maximal.
What is impressive about the College, during these periods, is how by the efforts of all, at the helm of affairs, the College still maintains, its primus interpares, position among similar institutions in Nigeria and Africa.
The Future Years (Vision for the College)
For the College to remain relevant and recognizable, both locally and globally, it must invest heavily in staff and infrastructure development. ‘Cutting edge’ research pursuits have taken a prominent position in according recognition to institutions. In the last three or four decades, unprecedented progress in health developments has come through research.
For the College and the Health Institutions related to it to remain relevant and recognizable, globally, it must meet up with the advances of Biotechnology and Research. There are many factors to make these attainable.
The provision of infrastructure and a conducive environment for its faculty and administrative staff to function is not negotiable. All relevant stakeholders must be involved- Government, the community, the multinational companies, and local enterprise, the faculty staff themselves, and international friendly grant-awarding corporations and bodies which must be carried along.
- Research: has been a major factor in the advancement of many organizations and institutions in the world. Universities worldwide are now being ranked quality-wise, for which quantitative and qualitative research forms a significant factor.
Recently, the Times Higher Education” ranking of universities, both globally and in Africa for 2023 has been released. Thankfully Ibadan still holds the lead in Nigeria, but seventh in Africa! Globally, Ibadan still needs to do better, judging by its impressive ranking in the past!! The reputation of a university depends heavily on the quantity and quality of its research output. Research should take a prominent position in the priority of the activities of the college.
According to United National Development Programme (UNDP), health research development is a process of generating new knowledge, using scientific methods, to identify and deal and with health problems.
Professor Adetokunbo Lucas (1991) at an international conference on health priorities for Nigeria, made similar comments of the role of research in the advancement of health.
How can the management of the College of Medicine achieve some of these recognizable factors in ensuring that the College retains its premier position in Health Education and Management in this century and the next? The College already had the Institute of Advanced Medical Research and Training (IAMRAT) since its inception in 1980. This Institution should play a major part in Medical Research relevant to the advancement of Medical Research in Nigeria and beyond.
- Funding: Currently, funding is a major factor in prosecuting cutting edge”, high quality research, not only in the College but in the country. The College may constitute a committee, solely for this purpose. All research studies leading to International Awards (Nobel Prize, etc) are supported by heavy funding. The College has the manpower, but funds are needed to provide infrastructure, facilities and other resources needed for long term research. This committee must source for funds globally and locally, aggressively too (Joint research activities with some corporations or Local and International/multinational bodies may be a profitable idea). The ETF may be encouraged to do more for research that may benefit the country. There was no ETF during my time!
- Motivation and Recognition of ‘Highflyer’ researchers: The College already has Research Day Activities annually. This day can be extended to an annual scientific conference with participation by academic staff (to enable faculty staff present their research findings on special day/days. Awards (both monetary and plaques) may be introduced. (The LNG in Nigeria has a similar award to scientists on an annual basis).
I am confident the College can rise to these challenges with the current bodies of talented and dedicated teachers. The sky is the limit.
Once again, I want to thank the organizers of this re-union for giving me to opportunity to put my vision for the college up for the discussion of colleagues, (retired and still in active service).
May the college continue to march on progressively.
Emeritus Professor Babatunde O. Onadeko, FAS, OFR
Pictures from the Event