LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Still On UNIOSUN Medical Students Return

The accolades that have been showered on the government of the State of Osun, over the sponsorship of stranded Medical Students of UNIOSUN to Ukraine to complete their medical training are not in anyway out of place. This is because the government came to their rescue at the time all hope was lost.

I am not a fan of Governor Rauf Aregbesola or his government, but truth must be told he has done what could not have been ordinarily expected from any government in Nigeria.

While I have reservation for the inability of the government to upgrade the General Hospital in Asubiaro to a teaching hospital, I will not want to join those who are criticizing the government for not doing so after explanations have been made that at the time the students were to go for their clinical training, the government could not afford the amount required for the upgrade. For any right-thinking person, this is understandable.

One significant thing that should be appreciated is that the administration has saved the lives of the affected student from collapse, because the help came at the time they needed it.

The return of the 50 out of 85 students who have graduated and became medical doctors after their trainings, while 35 others stayed back for further pursuit of their lives’ endeavour has clearly shown that the government is committed to the development of its citizens, particularly our future leaders who would have had their dreams of becoming medical doctors aborted.

Though, some critics have also faulted the rationale behind the sponsorship of the students to Ukraine, but I am sure that such individuals would not have wished their children what could have become the fate of the beneficiaries if the government did not rise to the situation.

Aregbesola and his government have however made history and done excellently in promoting functional education. This is a legacy that would remain forever.

EDITORIAL: Back From Ukraine

Out of the State of Osun, there is often a lot of positive new development with due acknowledgement to the Roman Emperor Pleiny. A good instance here is the enthrallment with which the news of the return of 35 out of the 85 medical students who were sponsored to Ukraine University for the completion of their studies by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration has been received from within and outside of the state.

Expectedly, kudos has been given by the beneficiaries, their parents and sincere well-wishers.

They returned home after graduating from the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine as certified medical doctors.

About 15 of the medical students stayed back in Ukraine for further pursuit.

It would be recalled that 50 of the 85 UNIOSUN students recently graduated and were inducted as qualified medical doctors after passing the 2017 KROK 2 Ukraine National Medical Exams, in June this year.

The UNIOSUN students were sent to Ukraine by the Aregbesola administration to complete their medical studies in Ukraine in 2013 as a result of non-availability of teaching hospital for their clinical studies, as it is one of the required facilities for training as a qualified medical practitioner.

We have to put this tremendous advance into context. This commendable exercise took place during a time of excruciatingly difficult fiscal conditions. Ogbeni Aregbesola and his administration frankly had every sensible reason not to have initiated it in the first place, but owing to his rational thought as a Governor and a father, he deem it fit as the best thing to do which he did. And now for this reason, this initiative has left an indelible imprint not only in his history but that of the state and the students.

Producing more doctors will help to improve the health sector. For these reasons this newspaper cannot but commend the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola for its vigour in implementing a vital element of the social contract.

EDITORIAL: Back From Ukraine

Out of the State of Osun, there is often a lot of positive new development with due acknowledgement to the Roman Emperor Pleiny. A good instance here is the enthrallment with which the news of the return of 35 out of the 85 medical students who were sponsored to Ukraine University for the completion of their studies by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration has been received from within and outside of the state.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun with returned UNIOSUN

medical students from Ukraine

Expectedly, kudos has been given by the beneficiaries, their parents and sincere well-wishers.

They returned home after graduating from the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine as certified medical doctors.

About 15 of the medical students stayed back in Ukraine for further pursuit.

It would be recalled that 50 of the 85 UNIOSUN students recently graduated and were inducted as qualified medical doctors after passing the 2017 KROK 2 Ukraine National Medical Exams, in June this year.

The UNIOSUN students were sent to Ukraine by the Aregbesola administration to complete their medical studies in Ukraine in 2013 as a result of non-availability of teaching hospital for their clinical studies, as it is one of the required facilities for training as a qualified medical practitioner.

Cross Section of UNIOSUN medical students hosted

at Government House, Osogbo

We have to put this tremendous advance into context. This commendable exercise took place during a time of excruciatingly difficult fiscal conditions. Ogbeni Aregbesola and his administration frankly had every sensible reason not to have initiated it in the first place, but owing to his rational thought as a Governor and a father, he deem it fit as the best thing to do which he did. And now for this reason, this initiative has left an indelible imprint not only in his history but that of the state and the students.

Producing more doctors will help to improve the health sector. For these reasons this newspaper cannot but commend the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola for its vigour in implementing a vital element of the social contract.

Commendations Trail UNIOSUN Medical Students’ Return From Ukraine

By Ismaeel Uthman

The return of 35 of the 85 medical students of the Osun State University who were sent to Ukraine University for medical studies by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration has continued to attract commendations from the beneficiaries, their parents and unbiased well-wishers.

They returned home after graduating from the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkov, Ukraine and certified as medical doctors.

About 15 of the medical students stayed back in Ukraine for future pursuit.

It would be recalled that 50 of the 85 UNIOSUN students recently graduated and were inducted as qualified medical doctors after passing the 2017 KROK 2 Ukraine National Medical Exams June this year.

The UNIOSUN students were sent to Ukraine by the Aregbesola’s administration to complete their medical studies in Ukraine in 2013 as a result of non-availability of teaching hospital for their clinical studies in furtherance of their studies here.

One of the medical students, Miss Latifat Abiola Oyeleye was declared the overall best medical student of the Karazin Kharkiv National University as well as the 2017 overall best students in the university with an outstanding score of 95.6% in KROK 2 Exams.

Receiving the young doctors at the Government House, Osogbo on Sunday, Aregbesola welcomed them and urged them to let their skills, knowledge and education speak for them.

Aregbesola explained that sending the students to Ukraine was not about nationalism but about justice and fairness, stating that the students were admitted for medicine and it behoved the university and government to fulfill their obligations.

He said: “We had advertised the medical course and admitted the students, it is the obligation of the government to see the students through the program. Human being will only succeed when he upholds justice and fairness. So, what informed our decision on these students is justice and fairness.

The Governor urged the young doctors to be professional, humane and godly in discharging their duties in hospitals and everywhere they find themselves.

He implored the newly graduated medical doctors to maintain the virtues which made them excel in Ukraine, encouraging them to always put their patients first in discharging of their duties.

The governor said, “We are celebrating with you today, but it will be good of you if you stick to those virtues that made you successful in Ukraine by being compassionate towards your patients at all times.

“We are proud of you on your achievements and I believe you have just started, you must strive to reach the peak of profession as medical doctors. You should be compassionate towards your patients at all times.”

The Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs Grace Titi-Laoye Tomori and the Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Engr. Remi Omowaiye who were involved in the process of getting the students complete their clinical training, said the students were stranded as a resort of non-availability of the teaching hospital.

They explained that no university in Nigeria was ready to accept the students for clinical training because they could not go out of the stipulated number of medical students.

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, according to the Deputy Governor and Omowaiye, was the best university for the state government to send the UNIOSUN students to, as it was the only university that was ready to take the students with reasonable, affordable financial and logistics demands.

In their remarks, the students attributed their academic success to Aregbesola’s commitment to promoting functional education and concern on their plights when they were stranded in UNIOSUN.

They promised to embark on service to humanity and give back to the community, particularly Osun state in appreciation of their free medical studies.

Oyeleye, the overall best students said: “I am one of the beneficiaries of Aregbesola’s gesture, I am one of the 85 medical students sponsored by his administration to one of the best universities in the world.

“We have studied and graduated. We thank God that today, we have been made medical doctors through the support of Osun Government. It is a dream come true for me and my family.

“Osun Government has made history through this, Governor Aregbesola has done excellently well in our lives to attain this giant feat in academic because if not for him, we might not be celebrated like this today.”

Another beneficiary, Dr. Oluwasayo Motunrayo said, “I will forever be grateful to Aregbesola for making our dreams come to pass. He has done well to ensure that we did not fail in meeting up with our medical career in life.”

Ezekoye Maria, an indigene of Anambra state, who is part of the medical students, said: “We had lost hope when there was no teaching hospital to proceed to for our medical studies at UNIOSUN, we were all stranded.

“But Governor Aregbesola restored our hope, he made us realise our dreams by sending us to one of the best universities in Ukraine for medical studies free of charge. Today, we are certified medical doctors. We are all proud of Osun government.

PHOTO STORY: UNIOSUN Medical Students Returned Excites Gov Aregbesola

The state of Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola on Sunday could not curtail his joy as he received medical students of the Osun State University who recently graduated from the V.Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv in Ukraine.

The Governor who was visibly elated by the development commended the new medical practitioners for being good ambassadors of the state while in their 4 and half years study in Ukraine.

Aregbesola held that the development is indeed a cheering news as he is elated that the initiative became successful at the end of the day.

The elated students were appreciative of the good gesture of the State Government pledging to be diligent and discharge their duties in line with the ethics of their calling.

See photos……..

 

UNIOSUN: The Triumph Of Stranded Medical Doctors

On Friday, June 30, 2017, the State of Osun was again before the world stage with the graduation of 50 Medical Students and the triumph of one of them as the overall best student of V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine at its 2017 Convocation. KEHINDE AYANTUNJI in this piece reflects on the turbulent journey of the stranded medical doctors, and the outstanding success of the 2017 Kharkiv University champion, Dr Oyeleye Lateefah Abiola.

Kharkiv, Northern part of Ukraine is the second largest city of the Europe country. It is a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport and industrial centre of Ukraine, with over 60 scientific institutes, over 30 universities and higher institutions, 6 museums, 7 theatres and 80 libraries.  Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934, after which the capital relocated to Kiev.

Kharkiv is the hosting V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine where 50 medical students of Osun State University recently graduated as medical doctors.   87 of them are currently on the state government scholarship but others are expected to graduate next year.

It is second oldest university in the Ukraine, second only to the University of Lviv, Ukraine. The university has produced at least three Nobel Prize laureates. They include Ilie Mechnikov (Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine); Simon Kuznet (1971 Nobel Prize in Economics); and Lev Landau (Physics). It was founded in November 1804, on the initiative of the prominent educator, V.N. Karazin and in accordance with the charter of Tsar Alexander I.

In 2012 when the state government decided to transferred the 98 students of the Osun State University who were stranded over non-availability of Teaching Hospital for Clinical training from 400 to 700 level to Ukraine, it was a very hard decision for Governor Rauf Aregbesola with stiff opposition to the decision move the students to the Southern Europe .

Among those who fervently opposed the transfer was the then National University Commission (NUC) Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Amioba Okojie, who without any hesitation downplayed the genuineness of the government and frantically ridiculed the Ukraine National University as substandard.

Although, the state government refused to spare him from deserved response, his utterances were considered political, rather than academic, inspite his position as the head of the esteemed universities regulatory body in Nigeria. The university Okojie described as substandard has never moved below 2,000 in  world ranking since its 200 years of its existence and has occupied the centre stage in Medical, Astrology, and Space Science Research in Europe. Ironically, none of the over 100 universities that Okojie was superintending and accrediting as at 2012 in Nigeria has moved closed to the first 5000 in the world ranking.  Okojie was challenged to provide any empirical evidence for his claim, instead, the former NUC boss navigated his criticism to cost effectiveness of sponsoring 100 students in foreign university when such amount could develop a teaching hospital in Nigeria.

The opposition political parties were not left out with all manner of assumptions and allegations against the governor. There was a time he was alleged to have held a share in the university and only wanted to rob the state through the foreign education trip to a country that formed part of the former Soviet Union.

Before the option of the Karazin University was adopted, the state government had in 2011 proposed to upgrade the State Hospital at Asubiaro, Osogbo, to a teaching hospital, but with the visibility study then, it would not cost less than N5 Billion to procure the necessary equipment and upgrade the facilities at the state hospital. As at then, government open up that it could not afford such, as it was a period that the state introduced what it termed “Financial Engineering” by restructuring the N18.6 billion United Bank of Africa (UBA) inherited loan and source for bond to execute some capital project without hindering smooth payment of workers salary which was N3.6 billion as at the time.  Another bottleneck that crippled the accreditation was personnel. One of the three major critical factors on which the question of adequacy or otherwise of the standard of training in any medical school depend is the availability of physical facilities in the form of buildings and equipment, both in terms of capital as well as recurrent costs. The other factor being availability of teachers, and the quantity of students selected.  Without clear evidence of the existence, and availability of the aforementioned facilities, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria scheduled with the responsibility of accrediting and monitoring medical colleges will not approve such college.  For instance, it took the pioneer medical students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, 10 years to graduate owning to accreditation challenges.

Obviously, as at that period, no matter what the state government may invest, it may not meet the expectations of the medical students who were already in 300 level, the medical students were stagnated for about two years as a result of non-availability of a teaching hospital for the university. All efforts made to get them admitted to tertiary institutions like Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife; University of Ibadan, UI; University of Lagos, UNILAG; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, for their clinical courses failed. The reality was that the population of the affected student outnumbered the maximum quota approved for those universities clinical year.

Having tried locally, the government spread the tentacles outside Nigeria to the United State (US), United Kingdom (UK), Belarus and Cuba. The costs of tuition for the training in those countries were astronomical and subsequently considered the Karazin University of Ukraine to sponsor the 87 students on scholarship. It was the most reasonable option available despite the meagre resources of the state. Aregbesola was of the strong conviction that neglecting the students amounted to sheer irresponsibility and gross recklessness with the lives of the promising young medical doctors.

In 2013, Governor Aregbesola Constituted Transfer Committee headed by Dr Simon Afolayan to conclude all necessary arrangement with the university in Ukraine after the approval of N162 million second tranche for the scholarship.

Presenting the report of the committee, the Chairman, Dr.  Afolayan commended the governor for the huge amount spent to keep the hope of the students alive and reported that the students were enjoying their studies in a conducive atmosphere with best global facilities, saying, “Despite the fact that not all the students are of Osun State origin, Aregbesola’s government, in its magnanimity sponsored the students without any string attached. This means that the students did not sign any bond with the government.

“For this gesture, posterity will not forget Aregbesola’s courage and magnanimity to the medical students of UNIOSUN.”

One of the parents of the beneficiaries who was then the chairman of the Parents’ Representatives, Dr. Ademola Ayodele thanked the governor for a rare expression of compassion shown to their wards, saying, the news of the transfer of the students to Ukraine first came to them as a dream, but with the courage, commitment and determination of government, the goal was achieved at the end.

While receiving the report of the committee, the governor said that his government facilitated the transfer of the students because it believes that a responsible government must fulfill its part of a pact it entered with the people irrespective of which person or party in power signed the agreement so far that governance is continuum.

He said, “I feel fulfilled that the students, who would have had their dreams aborted, would now realise their ambition of becoming a full time medical Doctor. We have kept faith with these children, their parents and guidance towards realising their life time ambitions. In couple of years from now, we will be celebrating their graduation as trained Medical Doctors.

“This government is promising that it will assuage the challenges that the students may be facing during their stay in Ukraine”, the governor told the gathering.

The government in sustaining the scholarship in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 expended the sum of N60,647,2 00; N68,445,465, and N64,215,800 respectively. The Osun Government also in years 2015 and 2016 academic sessions spent N85,833,750 and N116,495,258.40, totaling N495,637,473.40. Besides the initial 87 students who then were in 300-500 levels, government also assisted a total of 29 other medical students who were in 100 and 200 levels to secure admission to the university and process their travelling documents, but were sponsored by their parents.

As whatever has a beginning will definitely has an end, the dream of the government came to reality with the graduation of the 50 students in July 1st, 2017. Beyond convocation ceremony, the whole Karazin University stood up for one of them who triumphed as the university overall best students, Oyeleye Latifah Abiola. Prof Mykola O. Azarenkov  announced Latifah as the overall best graduating student from both the Faculty of Medicine and the entire university. She came out with a percentage score of 95.6% in the KROK 2 Exams which was the final examination for graduating students.

At the graduation ceremony attended by the State Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Laoye Tomori; UNIOSUN Vice Chancellor, Professor Labo Poopoola; the Chairman House of Assembly Committee on Education, Hon Oladoyin Bamisayemi and State Commissioner for Innovation Science and Technology, Eng. Oluremi Omowaiye , parents among other dignitaries, Latifah took Osun to the fore on world map and justified the huge resources invested by the state government.

When she was called at the ceremony, for the congregation at university auditorium to rise for the champion, she was so excited and felt accomplished for the strangled journey that ended successfully in Europe with giant feet. She said “We are here today proud that from the loss of hope that we were plunged into, we have been raised with new vigour. We have seen in Osun a responsible government which would not let its citizens down. Words are not enough to celebrate our victory. We have won”, she told the crowd.

Lateefah was born in Ibadan, Oyo state, where she attended primary and secondary schools respectively. She was admitted to UNIOSUN in 2008 to study medicine and studied for 3 years before she got stagnated alongside other colleagues for the inability of the university to secure accreditation. The father of the Ukraine Champion is into transport business and her mother engages in buy and selling.

During an interview with Latifah, her vision in life was not really such good grades, but to become a great doctor and teacher of doctors. The effort of the government, presided over by Aregbesola, no doubt projected the extraordinary ability of the champion, but becoming overall best student in such world class university was an arduous task.

The feelings of Latifah at that stage were a beginning of other great things in her life with gratitude to God. She felt so happy because she had never been celebrated like that in her life with so much love and appreciation in the air. She was really overwhelmed. She recounted her mood when she was stagnated as a result of the accreditation crisis in UNIOSUN, saying “I felt really sad. I saw my dreams almost crashing down in front of me. I thought all hope was lost, but God came into the picture through the Osun state Government and I am very grateful for that”.

On why she opted for medicine, Latifah partly differed with the popular clichés that people studied medicine because they want to save lives.  She said “No. in the beginning, teaching was my passion,  but I didn’t just want to be a teacher; I wanted to be a teacher with a difference, I wanted to teach how to save lives, so I decided to study medicine, that way I will get to be a doctor and a teacher at the same time, which I still want to do, but over the years, I have come to fall in love with medicine, I want that instant gratification of treating a patient and seeing them get better right in front of me, I mean that is the definition of joy for me. So, I studied medicine because I wanted to have two established lifesaving careers, being a doctor and being a teacher.”

In pursuing her dream in Ukraine, one of the very first challenge she encountered as a medical student was coping with the large syllabus in a very short time with other accumulated responsibilities within short time. To confront the challenges, she learnt time management and positioned herself not to lag behind. Another challenge faced according to Latifah was remembering previous thoughts and ideas conceived through reading especially for a very long time. She had to constantly remember thoughts, readings and retrieving information from memory even when she does not need them and had to study with a lot of online teachers. All these challenges really helped her.

Latifah also with the help of her father invested in good books which gave her edge over others, saying, “I have my dad to thank”.

In the next 10 years, it is her wish to be a wife and mother to become a consultant cardiologist, a great lecturer and a professor. Latifah is also dreaming of establishing a chain of well-equipped diagnostic centres in Nigeria where people can do all sorts of investigations to improve Nigeria health system.

UNIOSUN: The Triumph Of Stranded Medical Doctors

On Friday, June 30, 2017, the State of Osun was again before the world stage with the graduation of 50 Medical Students and the triumph of one of them as the overall best student of V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine at its 2017 Convocation. KEHINDE AYANTUNJI in this piece reflects on the turbulent journey of the stranded medical doctors, and the outstanding success of the 2017 Kharkiv University champion, Dr Oyeleye Lateefah Abiola.

Kharkiv, Northern part of Ukraine is the second largest city of the Europe country. It is a major cultural, scientific, educational, transport and industrial centre of Ukraine, with over 60 scientific institutes, over 30 universities and higher institutions, 6 museums, 7 theatres and 80 libraries.  Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934, after which the capital relocated to Kiev.

Kharkiv is the hosting V.N Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine where 50 medical students of Osun State University recently graduated as medical doctors.   87 of them are currently on the state government scholarship but others are expected to graduate next year.

It is second oldest university in the Ukraine, second only to the University of Lviv, Ukraine. The university has produced at least three Nobel Prize laureates. They include Ilie Mechnikov (Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine); Simon Kuznet (1971 Nobel Prize in Economics); and Lev Landau (Physics). It was founded in November 1804, on the initiative of the prominent educator, V.N. Karazin and in accordance with the charter of Tsar Alexander I.

In 2012 when the state government decided to transferred the 98 students of the Osun State University who were stranded over non-availability of Teaching Hospital for Clinical training from 400 to 700 level to Ukraine, it was a very hard decision for Governor Rauf Aregbesola with stiff opposition to the decision move the students to the Southern Europe .

Among those who fervently opposed the transfer was the then National University Commission (NUC) Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Amioba Okojie, who without any hesitation downplayed the genuineness of the government and frantically ridiculed the Ukraine National University as substandard.

Although, the state government refused to spare him from deserved response, his utterances were considered political, rather than academic, inspite his position as the head of the esteemed universities regulatory body in Nigeria. The university Okojie described as substandard has never moved below 2,000 in  world ranking since its 200 years of its existence and has occupied the centre stage in Medical, Astrology, and Space Science Research in Europe. Ironically, none of the over 100 universities that Okojie was superintending and accrediting as at 2012 in Nigeria has moved closed to the first 5000 in the world ranking.  Okojie was challenged to provide any empirical evidence for his claim, instead, the former NUC boss navigated his criticism to cost effectiveness of sponsoring 100 students in foreign university when such amount could develop a teaching hospital in Nigeria.

The opposition political parties were not left out with all manner of assumptions and allegations against the governor. There was a time he was alleged to have held a share in the university and only wanted to rob the state through the foreign education trip to a country that formed part of the former Soviet Union.

Before the option of the Karazin University was adopted, the state government had in 2011 proposed to upgrade the State Hospital at Asubiaro, Osogbo, to a teaching hospital, but with the visibility study then, it would not cost less than N5 Billion to procure the necessary equipment and upgrade the facilities at the state hospital. As at then, government open up that it could not afford such, as it was a period that the state introduced what it termed “Financial Engineering” by restructuring the N18.6 billion United Bank of Africa (UBA) inherited loan and source for bond to execute some capital project without hindering smooth payment of workers salary which was N3.6 billion as at the time.  Another bottleneck that crippled the accreditation was personnel. One of the three major critical factors on which the question of adequacy or otherwise of the standard of training in any medical school depend is the availability of physical facilities in the form of buildings and equipment, both in terms of capital as well as recurrent costs. The other factor being availability of teachers, and the quantity of students selected.  Without clear evidence of the existence, and availability of the aforementioned facilities, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria scheduled with the responsibility of accrediting and monitoring medical colleges will not approve such college.  For instance, it took the pioneer medical students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, 10 years to graduate owning to accreditation challenges.

Obviously, as at that period, no matter what the state government may invest, it may not meet the expectations of the medical students who were already in 300 level, the medical students were stagnated for about two years as a result of non-availability of a teaching hospital for the university. All efforts made to get them admitted to tertiary institutions like Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife; University of Ibadan, UI; University of Lagos, UNILAG; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, for their clinical courses failed. The reality was that the population of the affected student outnumbered the maximum quota approved for those universities clinical year.

Having tried locally, the government spread the tentacles outside Nigeria to the United State (US), United Kingdom (UK), Belarus and Cuba. The costs of tuition for the training in those countries were astronomical and subsequently considered the Karazin University of Ukraine to sponsor the 87 students on scholarship. It was the most reasonable option available despite the meagre resources of the state. Aregbesola was of the strong conviction that neglecting the students amounted to sheer irresponsibility and gross recklessness with the lives of the promising young medical doctors.

In 2013, Governor Aregbesola Constituted Transfer Committee headed by Dr Simon Afolayan to conclude all necessary arrangement with the university in Ukraine after the approval of N162 million second tranche for the scholarship.

Presenting the report of the committee, the Chairman, Dr.  Afolayan commended the governor for the huge amount spent to keep the hope of the students alive and reported that the students were enjoying their studies in a conducive atmosphere with best global facilities, saying, “Despite the fact that not all the students are of Osun State origin, Aregbesola’s government, in its magnanimity sponsored the students without any string attached. This means that the students did not sign any bond with the government.

“For this gesture, posterity will not forget Aregbesola’s courage and magnanimity to the medical students of UNIOSUN.”

One of the parents of the beneficiaries who was then the chairman of the Parents’ Representatives, Dr. Ademola Ayodele thanked the governor for a rare expression of compassion shown to their wards, saying, the news of the transfer of the students to Ukraine first came to them as a dream, but with the courage, commitment and determination of government, the goal was achieved at the end.

While receiving the report of the committee, the governor said that his government facilitated the transfer of the students because it believes that a responsible government must fulfill its part of a pact it entered with the people irrespective of which person or party in power signed the agreement so far that governance is continuum.

He said, “I feel fulfilled that the students, who would have had their dreams aborted, would now realise their ambition of becoming a full time medical Doctor. We have kept faith with these children, their parents and guidance towards realising their life time ambitions. In couple of years from now, we will be celebrating their graduation as trained Medical Doctors.

“This government is promising that it will assuage the challenges that the students may be facing during their stay in Ukraine”, the governor told the gathering.

The government in sustaining the scholarship in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 expended the sum of N60,647,2 00; N68,445,465, and N64,215,800 respectively. The Osun Government also in years 2015 and 2016 academic sessions spent N85,833,750 and N116,495,258.40, totaling N495,637,473.40. Besides the initial 87 students who then were in 300-500 levels, government also assisted a total of 29 other medical students who were in 100 and 200 levels to secure admission to the university and process their travelling documents, but were sponsored by their parents.

As whatever has a beginning will definitely has an end, the dream of the government came to reality with the graduation of the 50 students in July 1st, 2017. Beyond convocation ceremony, the whole Karazin University stood up for one of them who triumphed as the university overall best students, Oyeleye Latifah Abiola. Prof Mykola O. Azarenkov  announced Latifah as the overall best graduating student from both the Faculty of Medicine and the entire university. She came out with a percentage score of 95.6% in the KROK 2 Exams which was the final examination for graduating students.

At the graduation ceremony attended by the State Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Laoye Tomori; UNIOSUN Vice Chancellor, Professor Labo Poopoola; the Chairman House of Assembly Committee on Education, Hon Oladoyin Bamisayemi and State Commissioner for Innovation Science and Technology, Eng. Oluremi Omowaiye , parents among other dignitaries, Latifah took Osun to the fore on world map and justified the huge resources invested by the state government.

When she was called at the ceremony, for the congregation at university auditorium to rise for the champion, she was so excited and felt accomplished for the strangled journey that ended successfully in Europe with giant feet. She said “We are here today proud that from the loss of hope that we were plunged into, we have been raised with new vigour. We have seen in Osun a responsible government which would not let its citizens down. Words are not enough to celebrate our victory. We have won”, she told the crowd.

Lateefah was born in Ibadan, Oyo state, where she attended primary and secondary schools respectively. She was admitted to UNIOSUN in 2008 to study medicine and studied for 3 years before she got stagnated alongside other colleagues for the inability of the university to secure accreditation. The father of the Ukraine Champion is into transport business and her mother engages in buy and selling.

During an interview with Latifah, her vision in life was not really such good grades, but to become a great doctor and teacher of doctors. The effort of the government, presided over by Aregbesola, no doubt projected the extraordinary ability of the champion, but becoming overall best student in such world class university was an arduous task.

The feelings of Latifah at that stage were a beginning of other great things in her life with gratitude to God. She felt so happy because she had never been celebrated like that in her life with so much love and appreciation in the air. She was really overwhelmed. She recounted her mood when she was stagnated as a result of the accreditation crisis in UNIOSUN, saying “I felt really sad. I saw my dreams almost crashing down in front of me. I thought all hope was lost, but God came into the picture through the Osun state Government and I am very grateful for that”.

On why she opted for medicine, Latifah partly differed with the popular clichés that people studied medicine because they want to save lives.  She said “No. in the beginning, teaching was my passion,  but I didn’t just want to be a teacher; I wanted to be a teacher with a difference, I wanted to teach how to save lives, so I decided to study medicine, that way I will get to be a doctor and a teacher at the same time, which I still want to do, but over the years, I have come to fall in love with medicine, I want that instant gratification of treating a patient and seeing them get better right in front of me, I mean that is the definition of joy for me. So, I studied medicine because I wanted to have two established lifesaving careers, being a doctor and being a teacher.”

In pursuing her dream in Ukraine, one of the very first challenge she encountered as a medical student was coping with the large syllabus in a very short time with other accumulated responsibilities within short time. To confront the challenges, she learnt time management and positioned herself not to lag behind. Another challenge faced according to Latifah was remembering previous thoughts and ideas conceived through reading especially for a very long time. She had to constantly remember thoughts, readings and retrieving information from memory even when she does not need them and had to study with a lot of online teachers. All these challenges really helped her.

Latifah also with the help of her father invested in good books which gave her edge over others, saying, “I have my dad to thank”.

In the next 10 years, it is her wish to be a wife and mother to become a consultant cardiologist, a great lecturer and a professor. Latifah is also dreaming of establishing a chain of well-equipped diagnostic centres in Nigeria where people can do all sorts of investigations to improve Nigeria health system.

UNIOSUN Best Ukrainian Graduate, Lateefah Narrates How Aregbesola Rescued Her Dream From Crashing

Fifty of the 85 students of Osun State University sent to Ukraine to complete their medical studies by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration in 2013 have graduated from the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkov, Ukraine and become medical doctors.

One of the new medical doctors, MISS OYELEYE LATEEFAH ABIOLA, was named the overall best graduating student from both the Faculty of Medicine and in a course offered by the entire students of the university. In this interview with TAIWO OKANLAWON, she narrates her journey, challenges and outstanding success.

Question: Can you briefly tell me about your background?

Answer: I am Miss Oyeleye Lateefah Abiola. I’m from a quite large family, a happy one though. I was born and raised in Ibadan, Oyo state, where I attended primary and secondary schools respectively. I had my primary educational at Fountain Private School, my junior secondary school at Muslim Grammar School and further went to Ad-din International College where I completed my secondary education.

I moved on to Osun State University Osogbo to study medicine; studied for 3 years before we got stagnated due to lack of accreditation and the Osun State Government came to our rescue.

My dad has a transporting business; quite strict, but has his children’s great interest at heart. He is a great influence in my life; he is a very responsible man. My mum is into buying and selling.  She is the liberal one. I guess that makes it a balanced equation.

Question: How do you feel as the best graduating student in medicine?

Answer: I feel really elated.  I feel accomplished; although, I know there is a lot of work ahead, I mean this is just the starting point. I am also happy because I finally proved to myself that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well and that hard work pays. So, generally, I feel happy and grateful.

Question: Have you always been at the top of your class?

Answer: I wouldn’t say specifically, but I have always been a good student. I had good grades throughout my study, but in our first professional exam, I didn’t have the best result, I had the second best result; so, I knew I had to work harder. Sincerely, it’s actually not about good grades only for me; it’s always been about being a great doctor.

The first professional exam was written about three years ago. It’s like an equivalent to the first MBBS exam written in Nigeria.

Question: Tell me about your challenges in school and how you overcame them?

Answer: The first challenge I had as a medical student was coping with the large syllabus in a very short time. We had a lot of things to do in such a small amount of time. So, I had to learn time management, pace myself so I wouldn’t lag behind.

Another major challenge I think every medical student faces [sic] which I also faced was how to remember the things I have read after a long time. This was a big one, I had to constantly try to remember stuff, I mean retrieving information from my memory even when I don’t need them. All these challenges really helped me and also I had to study with a lot of online teachers. There are so many on YouTube, the videos are free.  Another thing that helped me study better was investing in good books; I have my dad to thank. Those are some of the challenges I faced.

Question: What lessons has your journey taught you?

Answer: First lesson, hard work pays. Also, perseverance, asking questions and prayers are important ingredients to success. I learnt all these from my own story.

Question: Why did you study medicine, in the first place?

Answer: I wouldn’t go along with the cliché response of ‘I studied medicine because I want to save lives’, no. In the beginning, teaching was my passion,  but I didn’t just want to be a teacher; I wanted to be a teacher with a difference, I wanted to teach how to save lives, so I decided to study medicine, that way I get to be a doctor and a teacher at the same time, which I still want to do, but over the years I have come to fall in love with medicine, I want that instant gratification of treating a patient and seeing them get better right in front of you, I mean that is the definition of joy for me.

So, I studied medicine because I wanted to have two established lifesaving careers, being a doctor and being a teacher.

Question: What do you think about the fact that a lot of first class graduates are still job hunting?

Answer: You mean in Nigeria? It’s very heartbreaking, but I think it boils down to the fact that Nigeria is an overpopulated country and you need more than just a degree to be recognized as extraordinary.

Question: What else did you get yourself into apart from study?

Answer: When I was in my third/fourth year, I was an Oriflame consultant. Oriflame is a beauty company that deals in a lot of beauty products and after I wrote my final exams, I learnt make up.

I’m not exactly a very social person, but I attend social events when I chance to[sic].  I am very outspoken person; so, I do a lot of debates and public speaking and like I said earlier, I enjoy teaching. So,  I teach,  but not commercially but for free.

Question: How about entrepreneurship?

Answer: Yes, I would love to go into business, have a big pharmacy. I also want to have a chain of well-equipped diagnostic centers in Nigeria where people can do all sorts[sic]  of medical investigations because there are not so many of that in Nigeria and it’s really affecting our health system.

Question: Your study was put on hold at UNIOSUN due to non-accreditation for lack of a standard teaching hospital, how did you feel then?

Answer: I felt really sad. I saw my dreams almost crashing down in front of me. I thought all hope was lost, but God came into the picture through the Osun state Government and I am very grateful for that.

Question: Governor Aregbesola later came to your rescue by sending you to Ukraine to complete your studies, but government sponsored 87 out of 98 medical students?

Answer: Yes, the government paid all expenses, but some people decided not to come. But everyone who showed interest was sponsored.

Question: So, you are part of success stories of Aregbesola led regime?

Answer: Yes, I am very thankful to the government of the State of Osun.

Question: How did you feel on your convocation day?

Answer: I felt so happy. I have never been celebrated like that in my life. There was so much love and appreciation in the air. It was really overwhelming.

I also saw that day as the beginning of other great things in my life and above all I am very grateful to God.

Question: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Answer: 10 years would do it for me. In 10 years by God’s grace,  I would be a consultant cardiologist, a senior lecturer and great teacher to my students. I would be on my way to becoming a professor.  I would be a wife and a mother.