*flag off intervention materials to sensitize publics
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Despite its ongoing nationwide strike, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU ) has released its members to help the Federal and state governments across the country in its efforts at curtailing spread of CoronaVirus in Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the union President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi while speaking at the flag off of ASUU intervention materials to sensitise the public and check the spread of CoronaVirus held at the University of Ibadan
Professor Ogunyemi who was represented by the Zonal Coordinator of Ibadan Zone, Professor Ade Adejumo, pointed out that ASUU has made her members available to help in checking the menace of COVID-19 “to demonstrate our concerns for the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian people”.
” ASUU members nationwide shall be willing to work with medical and paramedical workers as volunteers in their public enlightenment and professional intervention initiatives. All our branches shall explore areas of strategic collaboration with federal, state and local governments to provide support in terms of information and expert skills drawn from our membership across the nation,”” he said.
Professor Ogunyemi stated at the briefing which was also attended by the Chairpersons of University of Ibadan and University of Ilorin, Professors Ayo Akinwole and Moyo Ajao respectively, emphasized the need for the Federal and State Governments to work with Nigerian scientists, researchers, epidemiologists to flatten the curve of the spread.
“Nigeria must do what China has done to reduce the ravaging effects of the virus. We cannot confront the challenge by bemoaning our fate. What is expected is that we join forces to do what China and other well-organised societies have done to “flatten the curve”.
With qualitative and accessible university education, we can guarantee a storehouse of knowledge in scientists, doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists and other medical and paramedical personnel for coping with a global pandemic of the magnitude of the COVID-19. But it appears our universities have no place in the current efforts of government”
The ASUU President noted that “even with all the support, a functional healthcare system is only an evidence of a delectable educational menu serviced by contented academics and scholars at its zenith,” saying, “see, for instance, how naked and empty our teaching hospitals turned out to be when threatened by the early wave of COVID-19. Yet, these are laboratories established to produce medical and paramedical personnel for our dear nation!”.
” Our aspiration for improved quality of life for Nigeria’s teeming population will remain a mirage for as long as the ruling class cannot see the ineluctable consequences of the neglect of university education for qualitative health services.”
Speaking on the sensitization materials, Professor Ogunyemi said ” ASUU acknowledges that public information, education and communication (IEC) is key to success, backed ffup with access to health facilities and basic medicaments””, adding , “for us in ASUU, this is not an occasion for blame game or buck passing. However, it calls for sober reflection on what we need to do differently with our health and education. We talk of our health because that holds the key to our wealth, and our education because, without it, we are going nowhere in the advancement ladder among comity of civilized nations. “.