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Gov. Uduaghan to sponsor doctors, journalists on overseas training

By The Citizen

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday declared that Delta State indigenes at the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Ijanikin, Lagos, would be sponsored by the state government for a one-year residency training overseas.

The sponsorship package is worth $20,000 per candidate.

Disclosing this at Ijanikin during his honourary fellowship award by the college at its 31st convocation yesterday, Uduaghan said it had become necessary to support the institution and the Federal Government in efforts to produce well-skilled resident doctors, leveraging on international exposure available in the overseas training programme.

Uduaghan said the training is in line with his administration's programme of building human capacity in all spheres of endeavour. He noted that the college plays a strategic role in medical training in the country and should be adequately supported by government at all levels.

He pledged that Delta would partner the institution in the training of indigenes, noting that already, 'all First Class Deltans in the state have scholarship to study anywhere in the world. Over 180 of them get N5 million yearly as grant.'

President of the college, Prof. Victor Wakwe, had earlier lamented that since the Federal Government resuscitated the overseas training for resident doctors, with about 60 candidates benefiting last year, nothing has been heard of the programme.

Canvassing support for the programme, he said that approximately 650 candidates passed the college's Part 1 examination yearly, 'and if the Federal Government sponsors 120 doctors for the overseas training, about 520 will be left behind hence the need to have more support for the programme.'

Meanwhile, Wakwe revealed that Uduaghan's honourary fellowship award was in recognition of his exceptional commitment to healthcare development in Delta State since he was Commissioner for Health, Secretary to State Government and now governor.

Such commitments, the college noted, included the provision of world-class facilities in hospitals across the state and subsidy for kidney treatment, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging machines as well as tele-radiological services at the State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara.

Also of note was Uduaghan's policy on healthcare, which was 'adjudged the best in the country in the area of maternal and infant mortality, which is by far the lowest in the national average.' Others include free healthcare for all pregnant women and children under five in all government hospitals in the state.

Also, 16 journalists from the print and electronic media will next Monday begin a one-week training at the Thomson Reuters Institute in London under the state's sponsorship.

The training, which is on investigative journalism, will focus on ethics and principles of investigation in news writing. The training is the second to be sponsored by the state, which also sent 12 journalists to the institute for one-week training on news writing last year.