VICTOR AKINPELU, ILORIN
Medical students of the University of Ilorin, Kwara state studying in the area of Public and Community Health have carried out some health infrastructural facilities and provisions in some selected rural communities of the state.
Speaking during their field posting presentations as part of requirements for the award of Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree, the undergraduates said that such programmes as renovation of public health centres, public toilets, drilling of boreholes and purchase of generating set, among other activities were carried out.
Speaking with journalists after the presentations, the coordinator, Field Posting programme, Dr. Femi Oladiji, said that the students after their 12 weeks field posting experience also carried out such activities such as free medical consultation, testing and treatment, participation in COVID-19 vaccination, donation of drugs, public health education and enlightenment on prevailing health challenges etc.
Dr. Oladiji, who said that the main objective of the field posting was to ensure that the students acquire skills and competence in areas of health planning, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation, added that it was also aimed to develop analytical communication and fund raising skills while addressing community priority health needs of the communities.
During their presentations, the students said that the field posting activities were carried out in the selected six local government areas of Asa, Ifelodun, Irepodun, Ilorin West, Ilorin South and Moro local government areas, particularly in Elerinjare-Ibobo, Ajia-Bako, Ajikobi, Egbejila, among other communities.
The MPH undergraduates, who identified malaria and diarrhea as major health challenges in the selected communities, said that the larger percentage of the population practised open fecal defecation and indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
They also discovered that many of the schools and residential houses lacked toilets and refuse dump sites, calling on the relevant authorities to improve on public health care in the areas.
In his speech, the Head of Department (HOD) of Epidemiology and Community Health, Professor Omotoso Musa, said that the programme aimed at ensuring that the undergraduates gained practical ability and experience “from communities where the interventions were carried out, aside theories taught in classes”.
The above was corroborated by the presenters, who assented to the fact that the field posting experience afforded them the reality of theories taught in classes.