Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
A 94-year-old Professor Emeritus, Theophilus Ogunlesi recently challenged Nigerian leaders to adequately fund the Nigerian Teaching Hospitals to compete favourably with the best hospitals across the globe with a view to stopping medical tourism.
Ogunlesi, the first registered postgraduate student of the University College Hospital and the first Nigerian to attain the position of Professor of Medicine, said at 94, his dream was to see that chief medical directors across the country were treating Nigerian presidents, governors and other top government functionaries when the occasion demands.
He said Nigerian CMDs and other trained medical practitioners were doing well across Europe, America and other parts of the globe, adding that, they possess skills and can favorably compete with their counterparts abroad given adequate and enabling environment to operate.
Ogunlesi spoke at his 94th birthday and colloquium lecture jointly organised by the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and the Professor Pat Utomi's Centre for Values in Leadership.
The theme of the event titled: 'Community Health Care: Teaching, Research and Practice in Nigeria (The Ibarapa Programme, A Case Study', held at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan.
The programme attended by top government officials from Oyo, Osun and Ogun States including Emeritus Prof. O. O. Akinkugbe, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Abel Olayinka Idowu, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole represented by Prof. Abiodun Ilesanmi, and traditional rulers from Ibarapa area of the state, was organised as the 40th CVL Leader Without Title (LWT) leadership tribute colloquium.
According to him, Nigeria as a nation has human and material resources to treat any illness without seeking for medical treatment abroad but a lot needs to be done to make this happen and government has the power to turn around the fortunes of our healthcare system.
The special guest of honour, Adewole paid glowing tributes to the celebrant as he reeled out federal government's efforts at turning around the nation's health sector.
The Lead Presenter: Professor M. C. Asuzu who doubles as Director, Ibarapa Programme, called for a concerted effort at strengthening the community medicine in the country.
Moderator and Chief Host, Prof. Pat Utomi (Founder CVL), described the celebrant as a man of many firsts and doyen of community medicine whom he said has contributed immensely to the nation building.