The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu has identified training and re-training of Public Health Practitioners as a veritable tool for an efficient and effective Healthcare delivery system in the country.


Prof. Akpagu stated this during a training programme organized by World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence for Research and Training in Human Resources for Health, Department of Public Health, University of Calabar, for Public Health Practitioners with the theme: ‘Gender and Human Resources for Health’. 

The Vice Chancellor who described public health practitioners as ‘critical stakeholders’ in the health sector said there was need for them to be trained and retrained in order to acquaint themselves with current trends in the medical field, which he said will enable them deliver quality health care.

Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Uche Amalu, he said that the institution places high premium on the training of staff and would stop at nothing to ensure that public health practitioners in the institution are adequately trained to enable them meet up with the growing challenges of the 21st century in the health sector. 

In his words, ‘’Training of Public health practitioners is very necessary because it will afford them the opportunity to update their knowledge in their profession which will translate into an efficient and effective healthcare delivery”.
While calling on government at all levels to give priority attention to health, he said adequate budgetary provisions for the health sector should be made to enable the sector function optimally.  

This came as he thanked WHO for the initiative and urged participants to take the training seriously so as to achieve the desired purpose.

Also speaking, Provost of the College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Prof. Victor Ansa said Unical is pleased to have been chosen to host the training even as he thanked the WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health for the recognition.

He said the essence of the training cannot be overemphasized, saying that the training would contribute in no small measure in equipping public health practitioners with requisite knowledge and skills required in their profession.
Prof. Ansa said Department of Public Health has delivered on its mandate creditably and thanked the coordinators of the training program for its sustainability.  
The Provost, however, commended the Vice Chancellor for providing a conducive environment for the training, saying he is an astute administrator who is passionate about academic excellence. 

In his goodwill message, National Professional Officer, Health Systems Strengthening, WHO, Dr. Sunny Okoroafor, expressed joy for partnering with Unical to conduct the training for Human Resources for Health with funding from global affairs, Canada. 

He said, ‘’ It is about the second or third in the series of training that we have held here and this is because the institution has proven to be a very good institution for training of health workers. 

‘’It has also been a very good citadel for human resources for health which is one of the key pillars of universal health coverage. We want to thank you for hosting this training and we reassure you of WHO collaborative support with the institution.”

A representative of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Tony Udoh, in his remarks, applauded WHO for supporting them to host the programme.

Dr. Udoh said in a multicultural society like Nigeria where there is social and cultural divide, the training could not have come in a better time especially when educational attainment cannot afford the desired impact in human resources for health and health service provision in most part of the country because of gender.

He said the issue of Human Resource for Health Planning and Management could only probably be addressed when the issues of gender in health care are also addressed.

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