Ahead of its planned state-of-the-art medical school, AUN is considering a major private hospital ahead of a future medical school that will offer globally competitive Medicare in West Africa.
On October 2, President Dekle received the General Secretary of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, Dr. Girija Pandey. Dr. Pandey said his visit was to explore how ASSOCHAM India can partner with AUN in a broad range of areas including education, healthcare, and solar energy.
“Our job is to get the funding for AUN and work with the University to establish the hospital. In the first phase, we would establish a hospital, and in the second phase the teaching part will come.”
It is envisaged that the world-class hospital will attract patients from across West Africa.
Vice President for University Relations, Abba Tahir, said it would be a globally competitive medical facility. Although Nigeria has teaching hospitals, none attract such global patronage as it is being envisaged.
As a division responsible for developing and fostering relationships with the public, University Relations has engaged and will continue to engage many more potential partners from around the world. Tahir said the discussion with ASSOCHAM India started about three months.
ASSOCHAM India has done a similar partner before around the world. “The hospital we are thinking of will meet the basic minimum standards of a teaching hospital so that whenever a medical school finally comes on stream at AUN, we are not going to look elsewhere.”
Director of Development, Sameer Yeshwanth, said he identified a gap and wanted AUN to capitalize on it owing to the university’s drive for financial sustainability.
“I know how much this nation is spending on medical tourism. We needed to invest in something that will give us steady revenue. The revenue we get from that can also build the rest of the campus.”
He said situating such a major medical facility in Yola also has the potential of boosting the economy of the university’s host community.
“It will have a multiplier effect on the economy. Our pharmaceutical businesses will also improve because people will get better drugs, jobs will be created, hotels and services will improve, and Yola would also benefit from the visibility this project will give.”
Mr. Yeshwanth also said that part of the fund that ASSOCHAM India will source for the University would also be used to establish a research center on sickle cell, malaria and typhoid fever which are common tropical diseases. He envisages that such a center will potentially attract international agencies such as WHO and UNICEF for funding.
At the meeting, ASSOCHAM India also discussed the issue of providing alternative energy to AUN, as one of its members is willing to provide solar energy (including storage) for the university and this would significantly bring down the university’s overheads and make AUN that much more sustainable.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa