The PAMO University of Medical Sciences (PUMS), a private medical university, has vowed to change the negative narrative about Nigeria’s health sector. As Nigeria’s first all-purpose medical sciences university, PUMS said the primary reason for its establishment is to raise the bar of excellence in medical education and research as well as healthcare delivery in the country.
To achieve this, the medical university said it is already working hard towards becoming a reference centre for medical excellence in the country, adding that it will continually improve on the standard it has set for itself such that its products – doctors, pathologists, nurses, physiologists, among others – can compare with their counterparts from the best medical institutions from anywhere in the world. This, it said, will also help the country to close the gap in the number of physicians and other health professionals needed in the country.
The university, sited in a serene atmosphere in a large expanse of land in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, offers courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, human nutrition and dietetics, pharmacology, physiology, nursing, medical laboratory science in the faculty of Basic Medical Sciences as well as medicine (MBBS) in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences. The school management said it recognises how much medical science graduates are of high demand in the country due to its population and drive to become a healthcare destination for residents and other African countries, vowing that it will do everything possible to help address the crisis of dearth of healthcare professionals in the country.
Established barely two years ago, PUMS held its second matriculation for medical students in Port Harcourt last week, with the number of Nigerian young prospective university students filling their Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) application forms already exceeding the quota the school has set for new students. Speaking during the matriculation ceremony, a former governor of Rivers State and pro-chancellor of PUMS, Dr. Peter Odili, said the school is gradually writing its name in gold, stressing that, in no distant time, it will be an institution to reckon with in Nigeria and beyond.
Odili, a trained medical doctor, noted that the level of discipline and quality of learning in PUMS is unrivaled, as the university strives harder to become one of the best medical universities in the world. “Those who are filling PUMS in their JAMB forms have surpassed the space we have for students. This shows that many students want to come to the school for their academic pursuit. Our plan is to ensure that graduates from this institution are exceptional in the course of offering healthcare services to Nigerians. And for that to happen, they must be certified worthy in character and learning, which is what we are pursuing.
“Though the university has put in place stringent conditions of learning, they would help in guiding you to success. Take those pains now and bear, at the end of the day, you will forever be grateful to the university you attended. In the hospital setting, the most important person is the patient. You must therefore treat your patients like your bosses without which you have no work. For that to happen, your character must be impeccable, and that is what PUMS is all about,” Odili said.
The Vice Chancellor of PUMS, Prof. Michael Diejomaoh, said the occasion was again an opportunity to showcase the institution’s uniqueness, adding that students should take their studies seriously. “We want you to make us proud. You were given this admission because we found you worthy in character. We want you to be worthy ambassadors of the institution and Nigeria,” he said. Diejomaoh, a world-class obstetrician and gynaecologist, tasked the students on the need not to flout the rules and regulations of the institution, telling them that they won’t regret attending the university as they would stand out in their chosen professions.
Also speaking during the ceremony, former head of state and chancellor of PUMS, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd), described the institution as a world-class university dedicated to building healthcare workers, including medical doctors, nurses and other health workers in the country. While commending the state government for supporting the school, he said the progress made in PUMS within the last one year shows the prospects and what the future holds for Nigerians. “Going by the impact and steady progress the university has made in just two years, it could not have come at a better time than now to fill the gap left by most institutions in the country,” Abubakar said.
The former head of state decried the inability of many Nigerian public universities to provide standard medical-related programmes, promising that PUMS would strive to address all the challenges facing medical education and practice in the country as it aims to achieve global excellence in terms of teaching, research and community services. He added that the university will produce graduates in different fields of medicine who are not only competent in their professions, but also worthy in learning and character. The former military ruler advised the students to be good ambassadors of the school, adding that he has no doubt that they would all stand out in the society based on the training the school gives to students.
On his part, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, said he was glad that students from the institution can now use the state teaching hospital for their trainings, adding that products of the school would eventually benefit the state as well as the country. Wike, whose government sponsors 100 students every year in PUMS, said the state will also support the school with N250 million.
He called on all illustrious sons and daughters of the state to emulate the pro-chancellor by establishing institutions that have lasting legacy. “Students matriculating here should count themselves worthy to be in PUMS because their courses are constantly on demand. Be willing to serve our country and state when you graduate,” Wike told the students. For those who witnessed the event, PUMS could not have come at a better time than now when the country’s health sector is in dire straits requiring all efforts to salvage the situation.