A lot have happened since the strike action by Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist following the refusal of ministry of health to hold their end of the agreement in the memorandum of understanding (MOU). However just a couple of days I came across a letter from Prof. Akosa to  National Accreditation Board (NAB) which was meant to critic the board for giving the University for Development Studies the nod to run the Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science (D.MLS) program. This article entails the views of a student of the said university who currently under training in the program the said prof. Akosa is questioning. Lets read what he had to say:

Students of Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science during a practical session

UDS students during a practicals session

I have recently come across a letter by the popular Prof. Akosa, attacking the laboratory program at UDS, and a subsequent response to it by a writer who referred to him or herself as a “curious observer”. The writer in his interesting write up, approached the issue from the professional point of view. For me as a student medical laboratory scientist and an indigen of the Northern Region, my curiosity spans the rumored professional vilification of the laboratory scientists. Could there be an agenda to deprive the Northern Region of some good things?

As a student of the program, who though not well vest on matters concerning who is or not qualified to teach me, I was surprised to see in the letter to NAB that my lecturer who is in fact a Professor and holds a PhD in Chemical Pathology, according to Prof. Akosa, was not qualified to teach me. I was even more surprised to read from the professor’s letter to NAB that, there was only one medically qualified histopathologist in UDS, who he said, was expected to teach all courses. I am wondering if it is the same “medically qualified” histopathologist who from what I have heard from the academic grapevine and little gossips among my fellow students, has enrolled to pursue a PhD at the Department of Molecular Medicine at KNUST? The same department that trained my “unqualified” chemical pathology lecturer?

From my readings online, on who qualifies to teach in the university, from around the world, I discovered that most universities preferred research degrees (i.e MPhil/PhDs) but the all-knowing professor wants the NAB to believe that only individuals trained in the college of pathologists are qualified to teach in the university. If this is so, why does his “medically qualified” histopathologist, who I hear has no research degree, have to still enroll to pursue a PhD? Is he just looking for additional degrees or is being compelled to, because he probably doesn’t meet all requirements to teach? In all these, I begin to wonder, what is the exact motive behind the letter to NAB? Are all lecturers in the University of Ghana, KNUST and UCC medical schools trained by the college of pathologists? The “curious observer” thinks it’s a fight against the medical laboratory profession but I beg to differ on this. I believe it is a case of trying to deprive the people of the north of some good things or may be, both. A typical case of killing two birds with one stone.

I had always worried about the purported professional vilification and the possible consequences for me as a  student of medical laboratory science when I graduate, until I recently found out that the medical school at UDS also faced similar challenges during its conception. I am even told by an old uncle who was one of the pioneer members of staff of UDS that, even the establishment of the university itself, faced several stiff oppositions and that, but for the determination of His Excellency J. J. Rawlings, there would never have been a UDS, which today serves the good people of the three regions of the north and beyond. Was it therefore surprising that at the recent All African University games in Ethiopia, despite UDS (13 medals) placing ahead of University of Ghana (7 medals), the big media outlets in the country chose to beautify their headlines with “University of Ghana makes Ghana Proud”? So, I dare to ask, is there a grand agenda to stifle the progress of UDS, by some unknown forces because of its geographical location and for that matter the ethnic groups it is meant to serve?

Universities in the south have successfully run and graduated students in the similar medical programs like Medicine (from UG and KNUST), Doctor of Optometry (from KNUST and UCC) and more recently Doctor of Pharmacy from KNUST. I have even heard adverts from some private University Colleges in the south who have been given a go ahead to run the Doctor of Pharmacy program, yet a Doctor of Medical Laboratory Science program in UDS, a well-established public university in the northern sector, is facing stiff opposition. We also deserve the good things, we deserve to have trained medical personnel who hail from our regions and will easily stay to work and serve the people of our region. We will therefore continue to demand our fair share of quality medical education.

Finally, I wish to state that I am normally not a fan of ethnic arguments, since it has the ability to affect the sensibilities and emotions of our good friends who hail from the south, many of whom including our own VC, have contributed greatly to the progress of the university. However, there are those who do not wish the north well and will speak against anything good that comes to and from the north. Political leaders from the north must rise up against such people, you are our only hope.

Long live UDS
Long live Northern Region
Long live mother Ghana

A concerned student Medical Laboratory scientist.

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