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NMA Blames Abia State Government for ABSU Medical School Losing NUC Accreditation.


                        

The Abia State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has expressed regret at the loss of accreditation for Medicine at Abia State University, Uturu.

The Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) revoked the accreditation due to deficiencies discovered by the university's governing authority. The Clinical Medical Students' training setting is the Teaching Hospital, which is part of the teaching facilities.

"It is a piece of the tragic news that the Medical School in ABSU has lost its Nigerian University Commission accreditation," says Dr Chimezie Okwuonu, NMA Chairman in Abia State.

The body stated, "What this means is that the institution will no longer admit new students to study Medicine and Surgery at that bastion of learning."

"It might be tied to the Teaching Hospital, the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba, which serves as a teaching institution for medical students," said the source.

"The teaching hospital, ABSUTH, has been plagued by interrupted operations for a long time owing to agitations and industrial strikes by personnel over irregular salary payments."

The ABSUTH personnel are currently owed 25 months in wage arrears as of the end of April 2022.

"The Resident Medical Physicians have been on strike for the past 18 months; other health workers have also gone on strike, and a few doctors, mostly consultants, medical officers, and locum personnel, are predominantly not working since the work environment is not in order."

He went on to say that labour groups had tried and failed multiple times to fix the issue.

"The NMA has met with the state governor a record five times in the previous 18 months, at both the state and national levels."

"In November 2021, the National President of the NMA, Prof. Ujah, paid a visit to the governor of Abia State and alluded to the employees' accumulated wage arrears and their impact on morale and training."

He said that many government offices had been visited and discussed the matter, with promises made in each case but not followed through on.

"This loss of accreditation might have been averted if the government and its agencies had listened and worked with the NMA and other unions, and done the necessary."

He advised that the teaching hospital be fully operational to prevent losing the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria's certification, which normally follows.

"If we lose it, clinical training will come to a halt, trapping students in the middle," he said, calling for a lump-sum payment of the 25 months' salary owed, a regular monthly salary subsidy, and a committed approach to resolving management and training issues in the teaching hospital, among other things.

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