Novena University,
Delta State, Nigeria

College of Medicine

The university is developing a standard college to provide programmes as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, optometry, etc.

Nigeria has been experiencing a decisive shift towards a free enterprise economy and the educational sector is in the forefront of this revolution. This University is one of the private universities in Nigeria established not only to assuage the despondency of those who desire education but cannot have admission slots in public universities but also to meet the urgent need for increased supply of health workers. The university is established in response to the policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria inviting private initiative into the development of University Education.

Our medical education and hospital network team has a mission to create a world-class integrated healthcare delivery system globally.

To develop and support high caliber healthcare workers, professionals and paramedical staff with performance driven by a dynamic managerial team using modern facilities and current technologies.

The vision for this University is to focus on capacity building in the Health Professions and to build a renowned institution with strong and rigorous scholarship and training, much of which will be directed at training local leadership in Health and Medical Sciences.

We note that through the university’s many programmes and services, the college strengthens the world’s most advanced medical care by supporting the entire spectrum of education, research, desire to earn and keep the public’s trust for the role we play in improving the nation’s health.

Vision of Novena University College of Medical Sciences
The vision of the university and its members is thus to ensure a healthy nation and world in which:

+ a system of medical education, through continual renewal and innovation, prepares physicians and scientists to meet the nation’s evolving health needs.

+ the nation’s medical student, biomedical graduate students, residents, fellows, faculty, and the health care workforce are diverse and culturally competent.

+ advances in medical knowledge, therapies, and technologies to prevent disease, alleviate suffering and improve quality of life.

+ the nation’s health system meets the needs of all.

+ the utmost concern for compassion, quality, safety, efficacy, accountability, affordability, professionalism, and the public good guide the health care community.

+ medical schools and teaching hospitals continually earn the trust and support of the public for their special missions.

+ the university and our members are a dynamic force in realizing the vision.

Our goal is to develop and institutionalize outstanding community service to address community needs and have a broad-based, continuing commitment to community service as reflected in a variety of programmes and initiatives which are responsive to community and social needs and which show evidence of a true partnership with the community.

The university strives to inculcate in its operations programmes and activities aimed at addressing not only the health problems of the developing world but also the need to provide adequate quality health work force, which include:

+ innovative programmes of patient care/service to disadvantaged communities;

+ programmes of education targeted at increasing the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups in the health professions.

+ leadership focusing medical centre and community resources to respond to health needs such as prevention and health education, patient care, and social and supportive services.

+ programmes aimed at providing students with educational experiences in underserved areas to encourage eventual practice in such communities.

+ programmes developed to meet the needs of isolated communities.

+ programmes that use the unique assets and resources of the medical college to address continuing educational, economic, and/or systemic community problems.

+ programmes that address social needs in a medical context.

The plan is to develop a specialty institution for health studies and allied programmes and hope to partner with willing older institutions/organizations for a technical/mentoring relationship.

Considering the importance of health in the development of productive capacity and again noting the low supply of health workers all over the world, it is the desire of the proprietors to build a university mainly for the production of graduates in Health Professions.

It is this situation and the fact that the Government cannot go it alone in funding education that encouraged the policy on private initiative in establishment of private universities. This has helped to give opportunity to those who cannot have admission slots in public universities.

Health service has become a global issue and the development of the work force is paramount when considering ways of improving the economies of the world.
Health workers are all people whose main activities are aimed at enhancing health. They include the people who provide health services such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, paramedicals and management support workers such as finance officers, cooks, drivers and cleaners.

We have analysed the supply of healthcare workers globally and having seen as below, the shortages in the supply of such Professionals, decided to venture into this critical area.
South Africa has 393 nurses and 74 doctors per 100,000 people, as compared to the United States 901 nurses and 247 doctors per 100,000 people (US Today). Nigeria (Africa’s most populous country) has only 23,000 physicians for its population of over 150 million. This is a ratio of only about 18.5 physicians per 100,000. (this census figure is even contestable today as no proper census has been conducted in the last three decades).

There is obvious need for healthcare professionals all over the world and our interest is to add to the existing number.
The adequate supply of health care professionals has been a serious issue for developed countries in the last few decades. In the United State (US) a 20 percent deficit in the registered nurse workforce has been forecasted by 2020 if current trends are not reversed. In the UK, 100,000 nurses are due to retire by 2010. Across the European Union, more than half of the physicians were aged over 45 in 2000; in Norway, the average age of dentists was 62.

Developing countries, on the other hand, struggle to produce and retain a sufficiently qualified health care workforce. Around 36 African countries do not meet targets of one doctor per 5,000 people and even in non-conflict affected countries such as Zambia and Ghana, there is only one doctor for more than 10,000 people.

The global health care profession employs an estimated 100 million people, but is not attracting enough new recruits in both developed and developing countries alike. According to WHO, Sub-Saharan African faces the greatest challenges. While it has 11 percent of the world’s population and 24 percent of the global burden of disease, it has only 3 percent of the world’s health workers.

In 2003, the UK registered 5880 health and medical personnel from South Africa, 2825 from Zimbabwe, 1520 from Nigeria and 850 from Ghana. The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates that each African professional migrant represents a loss of US$184,000 to Africa. Apart from working in the hospitals these can come back to teach in Medical Schools if they have good working environment and good pay.

What can we do to help resolve the crisis of doctor shortage? I believe the first solution lies in both ensuring adequate pipeline from the front end and preventing the brain drain from the bottom end. Upon reflection, however, considering the environmental factors and working conditions including also the facilities available for medical practices, teaching and research it becomes very difficult to stop further brain drain how much more bringing back those who had left; who unfortunately again are moving towards retirement.
A way out therefore would be to take a multi-dimensional approach of training the youths who will put in enough years and also creating medical centres with modern facilities for them to work with while also providing good working conditions:

+ training the youths
+ providing good hospitals
+ modern facilities
+ good working conditions

Pressing health needs across the globe cannot be met without a well-trained, adequate and available health workforce.
There is a direct relationship between the ratio of health workers to population and survival of women during childbirth and children in early infancy. As the number of health workers declines, survival declines proportionately.

No nation can develop where healthcare delivery is at the rudimentary stage. Efforts towards proper healthcare planning and training ought to receive the support of international agencies of nations and other NGO’s and should not only be done in public institutions as the private institutions contribute in no small measure to workforce development.


* More direct investment in the training and support of health workers.

A national plan for the health workforce and an increase in the number of health workers in all countries with serious shortages.
An adequate health workforce is defined by WHO as at least 2.3 well-trained health care providers available per 1000 people and balanced in such a way as to reach 80% of the population or more with skilled birth attendance and childhood immunization.

“The inadequacy of the health workforce in many developing countries is a major obstacle to providing essential life-saving health services to millions of people who lack access now,” said Dr Timothy Evans, WHO Assistant Director-General. “Coordinated action to address this crisis at the global level, in regions and within countries must begin now.”

There is no doubt that there is not only shortage of healthworkers but also medical facilities in Africa and because of the low level of living they are susceptible to major ailments in numbers which calls for the need to provide measures for proper medical practices and treatment.

Our curriculum covers courses which provide competencies in other spheres of human endeavour e.g. accounting, business management, insurance, qualitative techniques, research etc. These courses will be taken as electives during the period of medical education for would-be physicians, pharmacists, nurses etc. In this case our students will not only be trained General Medical practitioners but also managers of Medical and Allied businesses. This is important where qualified doctors/healthworkers will take options of establishing and managing their health institutions than migrating for greener pastures. A degree in business (MBA) is awarded to those who take required credits for this.

It should be noted that Nigerian students have proven themselves during postgraduate studies outside in spite of the very near incredible situations surrounding their training in their country even where they meet facilities that they have never had access to while schooling abroad.

It shows that given the opportunity to read in a better environment and taught by resource persons who have been trained in such institutions with best facilities they will show outstanding performances whenever they find themselves in training, medical practices and research. This is our goal.