Family donates Nigeria’s First Medical Simulation Lab to UNICAL

In celebration of their father’s legacy, the Professor Akpan Asuquo Otu family have donated Nigeria’s first medical simulation lab, the Okuku Emeritus Professor Akpan Asuquo Otu Memorial Surgical Skills Centre, to the University of Calabar.

The donation made to the faculty was medicine was received by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, at a ceremony held on the school campus.

Making the donation, Dr Obal Adiaha Otu, Matriarch of the family, said the donation is made as an investment to the training of medical doctors, something her late husband held close to his heart.

Dr Obal held that her family has a long history with the university that started “40 years ago when the university took over the St Margaret’s hospital and asked those of us interested in joining the school to so, and my husband joined as the first surgeon.”

She added that the “project will help medical students learn surgical skills so that when they become doctors they will be able to carry out operations safely. These are basic skills and if you don’t learn them from the beginning you will grow up not being a safe doctor.”

Also speaking, Dr Akaninyene Otu, son of Prof. Akpan Otu, said the project was in furtherance of their father’s belief in the push and pursuit for new knowledge.

“My late father was a skilled surgeon, an astute academician and above all, a passionate teacher. In selecting a befitting project in his memory, we, his family recognised that the project would have to be centred around the dissemination of medical knowledge and skills.” He said.

Earlier speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Florence Obi thanked the family for the donation and praised them for following in the steps of their patriarch “who contributed hugely to the growth of Unical and was regarded by all who knew him as a guru.”

The VC promised that the facility will be put to good use in the training of doctors and that when the curriculum that caters to the uniqueness of the course is brought before the school’s senate, it will be given accelerated attention.

The Surgical Skills Centre will be administered by the Department of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine, with allied surgical specialities such as orthopaedics, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology being provided free access to the centre to train their resident doctors on basic surgical skills.

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