‘Uniport Medical Centre Needs Upgrade’
THE health facility for students of University of Port Harcourt is called O. B. Lulu Briggs Medical Centre. Its premises looks clean, with interlocking stones in the moderate parking space.
Expectedly, the students access the medical facility without the usual mandatory deposit of funds as practised in other health institution across the state.
However, as the saying goes, ‘There is nothing free under the sun’, the services at Lulu Briggs health centre is not free, the payment is included in each student’s tuition fees.
A visit to the health facility showed that the management is doing its best to meet with the health needs of the students, but investigation revealed that the centre is in dire need of upgrade and constant replacement of drugs to keep its services moving.
Some students in an interview with The Guardian expressed joy over the presence of the health centre in the school but noted that issues of quick response to students during emergencies need to be addressed.
Ibiba John, a 200-Level student in Department of Computer Science said, “We appreciate the fact that the health centre is in our school but there is need for the authorities to monitor the nurses and doctors at the health facility over their attitude towards issues of quick response to emergency situations. Negligence to emergencies is what usually leads to death of students in the school, it is sad.”
Narrating his experience with the clinic, a 400-Level student, Anyaogu John who refused to mention his department said, “My room mate who had typhoid went to the clinic two weeks ago and he was told, there was no drugs available. It was so sad, so we had to contribute money and move him out of the campus for treatment in order to save his life.”
He called on authorities to give priority attention to medical facilities in higher institution across the country and even in public schools, stressing that the young people are the leaders of tomorrow.
John, however, reasoned that the centre needs total overhauling, adding that uncaring nurses should be sacked, medical facilities improved and drugs replaced regularly.
For Obilor Nnaemeka, his concern is about the move by the school authority not to allow students who have do not pay school fees early to access the facility. He condemned the move saying, “All hands are not equal. Does it mean that students who are sick but whose parents are not able to pay the tuition fees at the beginning of the semester should go and die?
Efforts to speak with staff of the centre was futile as the most senior nurse on duty warned every one not to utter a word after several attempts to convince her that the reporter was at the centre to do a situation report with the aim of ensuring that they enjoy a standard and quality health facility.
The university spokesman, William Wordi, also declined to comment on the issue, arguing that the reporter should have contacted him on the earlier story she did on University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).