A professor of community Medicine and Public Health and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Medical sciences, UNIMED , Ondo state ,Professor Adesegun Fatusi, has identified Life Sciences as a weapon that can be used to eradicate diseases and viruses to attain an almost Disease free world.
He stated this while delivering the maiden edition of the Annual lecture of the school of Life sciences of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA on Friday 17th February ,2023.
Fatusi who spoke on “Life Sciences Education and Practices in Nigeria in the New Pandemic Age,” said while the world has not experienced a fast spreading pandemic with huge mortalities and global impact for decades, COVID-19 has proven to be a powerful reminder that such possibilities still exist despite the level of high scientific knowledge and advancement.
Speaking on the relevance of Life sciences, the Don said scientists all over the world have now alerted the world that incidence of COVID-19 marks the beginning of a new era in human history and a new pandemic age where pandemics are expected to occur more often as conditions favoring their occurrence have peaked. He said that if not for scientists in the field of Life sciences who eventually came up with different vaccines to combat the virus, the world population would have been seriously depleted since its advent in 2020.
Professor Fatusi said the simplest way to define Life sciences is the study of living organisms, but putting it more elegantly it is the science involving cells and their components product and processes. He noted that Life sciences cover a very wide spectrum of academic discipline far beyond what is captured in the four departments of the school of Life sciences in FUTA. Professor Fatusi postulated that the need to build greater capacity for pandemic surveillance and ensure greater international collaboration in prompt reporting of outbreaks and strengthening of the health system by adopting the One Health approach and investing in research is also very critical.
He said Universities have great potentials to influence young people at secondary school levels through outreach programmes and community based sciences oriented activities.
The Don said Universities must ensure that its curricula are up-to-date and globally relevant in terms of core competences, hard and soft skills to make learning experience a rich and fulfilling one for students. Advocating for the creation of an enabling environment, Fatusi said it will help to fulfill career experiences in Life Sciences education and practices for academic staff which will support them in terms of relevant opportunities for research and career development. He also advised that alliances and partnership among institution locally and globally will go a long way help a formidable Life Sciences that will combat Diseases and virus.
Speaking at the occasion, the vice Chancellor Professor Adenike Oladiji said the theme of the lecture was very apt in a society like ours where the debilitating effects of viruses such as COVID-19 pandemic is still visibly evident in our socio economic life.
Professor Adenikiju said, “ It’s a well-known fact that public health education plays a crucial role in prevention and control of infectious diseases. FUTA has been in the vanguard of promoting good health through the production Moringa bread ,Ginger bread and Garlic bread in a view to preventing some of life threatening diseases and with the formal approval of the National Universities Commission,(NUC) we have commenced the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery(MBBS) program , and FUTA is poised to further contribute to the advancement of health education and public health.”
Speaking also, the Dean School of Life Sciences Professor Olufemi Ashamo said the SLS was established on the 1st of August 2021 after the split of the former School of Sciences into schools of Life Sciences and Physical sciences.
Professor Ashamo said annual lectures are organized to provoke discussions on areas of interest that leads to growth and development of a nation. He thanked the guest lecturer for honoring the invite. He also thanked the Management for their support towards the success of the lecture.
An award ceremony rounded off the event with two alumni of the school, Chief Mrs. Olamide Falana and Mr Olumide Aniyikaye, honoured for their contributions to societal development and achievement.