Minutes of Meeting: ANPA’s Delegation and the National Universities Commission, 2/25/2014

Present: Dr. Michael Etomi (President, ANPA), Dr. Julius Kpaduwa (Past President, ANPA), Dr. Abraham Osinbowale (Chair, ANPA’s Advocacy Committee), Professor Wale Sulaiman (Chair, ANPA’s Consultancy Committee) for ANPA AND Professor Julius Okojie (Executive Secretary, NUC), Dr. Joshua Atah (NgREN Project Coordinator) for the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Location: National Universities Commission, Abuja, Nigeria.

The meeting started at 5:45 pm in the Chambers of the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Abuja. Dr. Etomi gave the rationale for the meeting stressing the importance of ANPA’s linkage to the NUC by Internet connection for transfer of skills through telemedicine and e-learning while also developing a strong academic relationship between ANPA members who are active in academia and Nigerian Universities’ academic staff in areas of research and cutting edge technological skills in modern medicine in the area of tertiary care.

At this point, Professor Okojie, the Executive Secretary of NUC stated that the time is ripe for such a healthy symbiotic relationship between ANPA and the NUC and he moved the meeting from his Executive Chambers to NgREN (The Nigerian Research and Education Network) which is a state-of-the-art technological facility within the premises of NUC with a 24/7 schedule and electricity coverage. The Center is now connected by Internet to twenty-nine (29) Universities in Nigeria and seventeen (17) Teaching Hospitals and as soon as the new broadband cable network is completed, the Center will have fast Internet connection to more Universities and Teaching Hospitals and become capable of faster transmission of data between and among networks including data sent through telemedicine from any part of the world into these institutions and other remote facilities. He stated that Professor Eugene Okpere, the former Chief Medical Director of University of Benin Teaching Hospital was recently hired to develop the area of telemedicine and e-learning for NgREN.

The Project coordinator of the Center’s Information Technology Division, Dr. Joshua Atah, then made a very informative presentation to ANPA’s delegation about the capability of the Center for web casting, videoconferencing, telemedicine and e-learning in real-time to confirm the readiness of the Center for whatever ANPA or any organization might be contemplating in terms of collaboration with Nigerian Universities and Teaching Hospitals.

When the delegation inquired about power outage, equipment function/damage and continuity of data transfer, he stated that the Center has an adequate electricity supply by high-powered generating system and energy back-up system capable of storage of electricity for some time to enable the generating system cool off and start back up again and since the system was put in place, they have not experienced any power outage or break in data transmission. He stated that the only problem they have now is that the Universities and Teaching Hospitals are not utilizing up to one tenth of the capacity of the Center for their research or transfer of data/technology either locally or internationally and they would love to work with ANPA to link the Universities and Teaching Hospitals with ANPA’s telemedicine project. The Chairman of ANPA’s Consultancy Committee, Professor Wale Sulaiman, was charged (in conjunction with the Education and IT Committees) with the responsibility of exploring a working relationship between NUC and ANPA towards the realization of ANPA’s quest for capacity and skills set development for Nigerian Teaching Hospitals in the area of tertiary care utilizing the facilities available at NgREN. Professor Wale Sulaiman promised to write a report on the initiative and work closely with NUC and NgREN in developing ANPA’s telemedicine project with Nigerian Teaching Hospitals and other medical/health institutions.

It was agreed that Dr. Mike Etomi will contact Professor Okpere, the project leader for the development of NUC’s telemedicine and e-learning for further exploration of areas of cooperation between NUC and ANPA. It was also agreed that ongoing communications will be put in place starting with the minutes of this meeting for ongoing collaboration between NUC and ANPA for the necessary capacity building and transfer of skill sets in line with ANPA’s vision of “A Healthier Nigeria in a Healthier World”.

In the absence of further business discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 6:45 pm.

These minutes are subject to review and adoption.
Respectfully submitted,
Dr. Michael Etomi                                       Dr. Abraham Osinbowale
ANPA President                                          Chair, ANPA’s Advocacy Committee