By Joke Adeniyi-Jackson
The Master of Public Health (MPH) students of College of Health Sciences, the University of Ilorin, have commissioned a renovated healthcare centre and built two toilet facilities for Warrah-Oja community, in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara.
In his address during the commissioning on Friday, Dr Sodiq Ibrahim, the MPH student team leader, explained that they were in Warrah-Oja community for their field study, which is a requirement for their MPH programme.
He lamented that people of the community only visit the healthcare centre during routine immunisation.
Ibrahim added that the dilapidated healthcare centre lacks basic amenities, has no drugs and no adequate staffing.
He also said the community schools which comprise primary and secondary have no toilet facilities.
The team leader noted that his group set out to contribute their humanitarian help to the community by building modern toilet facility for the schools, renovate the healthcare centre and also provide them with pipe borne water.
Speaking at the commissioning, Dr Saliu Abdulsalam, of the University of Ilorin, said objectives of the programme is to afford the MPH students firsthand knowledge of community health needs, instead of relegating them to hospitals and classrooms only.
He added that the students go through 12 months academic training and six months field community training.
Abdulsalam who is also the Academic Supervisor for the MPH students, explained that various primordial prevention occur when diseases has not surfaced in such communities.
In her remarks, the Head of Department (HOD) Ilorin West Local Government Area, Hajia Fatima Kuranga, charged the community to make judicious use of the facilities provided for them.
Kuranga however pledged the state government’s resolve to provide necessary facilities by building a bigger health care centre in the community.
In their separate remarks, the Mogaji of Warrah-Oja, Alhaji Raimi Alao and Principal of Warrah-Oja Junior Secondary School, Alhaja Afusat Funsho, both commended the MPH students.
Funsho observed that the facilities will serve about 80 students and 28 staff in the secondary school in addition with the primary school population.
“The old toilet located at the school collapsed long time ago, and students and teachers defecate in the bush anytime they are pressed” she said.
…to install mini refinery for biodiesel production
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has said the university will soon install a mini-refinery equipment for processing of Jatropha, a flowering plant, into biodiesel.
Jatropha flowering plant is locally called “Igi-lapa-lapa” in Yoruba, “bindazugu” in Hausa, Ncheogba in Igbo and “kachia” in Nupe.
Abdulkareem said this last week in his welcome address at the 8th International Jatropha Conference, tagged: “Jatropha 2018,” organised by the University of Ilorin Jatropha Plantation Development and Maintenance Committee.
The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented by the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Lanre Ajibade, explained that once the mini-refinery is achieved, it will give people the opportunity to bring Jatropha seeds for milling, pressing and production into Biodiesel.
Abdulkareem commended individuals who made donations to the university, and the recognition that the government, through the NNPC, has shown to the University on Jatropha plantation.
The VC disclosed that since the inauguration of the committee on Jatropha, the university has established 55 hectares of Jatropha plantation and organised international conferences since 2010.
He also stated that the institution has established a research journal, known as the International Journal of Phytofuel and Allied Sciences, and collaborated with some cooperative societies.
Prof. Abdulkareem also pointed out that the university is recognised nationally in Biodiesel production.
He added that the residence of the Jatropha Plantation in the institution has attracted investors, scholars, authors, and farmers, who have expressed interest in sharing materials and knowledge with the university.
Also speaking at the conference, former Managing Director of Martaba Farms Nigeria Limited, Minna, Niger, Alhaji Garba Madami, urged the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for Jatropha farmers and investors to boost the nation’s economy.
Speaking on the topic, “Jatropha Curcas Production Strategies in an emerging economy”, Madami said that Jatropha Curcas plant could turn around the country’s economy if the necessary conditions are provided.
“Jatropha Curcas plant is a potential plant which can turn around the economy of Nigeria by farmers and investors.
“The Government must look into the future to boost the economy of Nigeria by providing the enabling environment for Jatropha farmers and investors,” he said.
He said that the production of Biofuel (Biodiesel) and Biogas has been on the drawing board for too long, adding that Jatropha Curcas plant must take the lead of oil producing plants with the potential to provide income to farmers.
“The establishment of small- and medium-scale industries and the production of biogas for cooking, water heating and for generation of electricity (power) will go a long way in complementing public power generation in this country,” he said.
According to him, Jatropha is a plant with a lifespan of 40 to 50 years, that grows under sub-tropical condition, best grown in aerated sandy and loamy soil, and it is neither eaten nor consumed by human beings, animals nor birds.
Addressing the gathering, the Royal Father of the Day, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi, the Olofa of Offa, who was represented by the Asala of Offa, High Chief Adebayo Shittu, declared his support to the Jatropha Plant committee and prayed for God’s wisdom on the initiative.