Aminu Dabo: Bridging Health Gap in the North

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Iyobosa Uwugiaren examines how the Aminu Dabo College of Health Science and Technology is helping to uplift the standards of healthcare delivery in the North

It is near impossible to pass through the Civic Centre Road, Kano, without noticing the good-looking and outstanding structures situated at Plot 9C: the Aminu Dabo College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Established in 2015, the founder of the institution, Arch. Aminu Dabo told THISDAY that the challenges of providing trained manpower in health education and technology informed his aspiration to contribute towards the positive development of health education in Kano State and Nigeria at large.

A well-known technocrat, the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), said that the spirit behind establishing the institution- the first private health institution in the entire northern part of Nigeria, is to fill the health workers gap in Kano, the North and Nigeria at large.

“This metamorphosed to the decision to establish the Aminu Dabo College of Health Sciences and Technology in Kano in liaison with the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Kaduna and other recognised medical Professional bodies,” he stated.

A product of Kano Polytechnic and Ahmadu Bello University, the founder is known to have a passion for education, and consequently his move to explore areas he could contribute his own quota to education, especially in health in the North.

“Initially my choice was to go for a polytechnic because I felt it is good to help in my own training. Along the line, when we met with stakeholders, we realised that the health sector is for now on high demand. It was advised that we should start with the health sector; then eventually we can expand it to polytechnic,” he told THISDAY.
“I’m happy we have achieved so much in this little time. We have got all the accreditations necessary for the take-off of the institution. We have already finished the first semester, and they are going into second semester.”

With a vision to be a trend-setter and one of the best private health institutions in the provision of health education and training at affordable costs in Nigeria and beyond, Dabo added that he has a mission to promote and avail the youths with learning and development opportunities in health education and technology in order to uplift the standards of healthcare delivery and support the principles of public private partnership in health education.

For many wealthy businessmen from Northern origin who have refused or failed to invest in the educationally disadvantage region, the institution is already generating huge positive debate.

To be sure, lots of people from the academic and other sectors, have spoken well about the equipments, the teaching staff members, and the structures that have been put in place within a short period of time.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Professor Dandatti Abdulkadir, has described the institute as a “great blessing” to Kano State and the North in general. “This is the kind of project that people mostly need to enhance their living standard,” he said.

A renowned scholar from Kano State, Professor R.A. Shehu said he was highly impressed with the effort made so far by the founder of the college, advising the government and individuals to support the venture for public good.

Professor Abubakar Rasheed of Northwest University, Kano, also shares his colleague’s view: “I am impressed by the quality of structures, equipment and staff members. I commend the proprietor for his vision and commitment to the provision of quality higher education in health and related areas.”
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammed Sanusi and the former Minister of Education, Professor Jibril Aminu, have also commended the quality of the college during their recent visit to the school campus.

For the proprietor, the several commendations from highly respected people, mostly from the North, are understandable. The school has seven departments: Community Health, Dental Health, Medical Record/Laboratory, Pharmacy Technician, Health Information Technician, Environmental Health and General Studies.

According to the Founder of the school, it is being run in line with the best global practices and partnering with professional bodies in offering programmes that are designed to meet the yearning needs of Nigerians such as community health, medical laboratory, pharmacy, dental health, health information management and environmental health, in accordance with the requirement and standards of the Nigeria Medical Council and The National Board for Technical Education.

“In addition to the above, our institution is collaborating with other professional bodies in providing consultancy services in all sectors; furthermore our doors remain open for international and local collaborations,” Dabo added.

Apart from the well-furnished structures in the main campus of the College, it also has hostel facilities of over 400 students’ capacity at Hotoro, Maiduguri Road, Kano. The institute provides transportation for the students from the hostel to the academic area on a daily basis.

Apart from a block of the necessary library facilities, where students can carry out their reading and researches, the college also encourages extra-curricular activities like football, volley ball, badminton, tennis and others, but frowns at the formation, patronage and the existence of secret societies or secret cult.

Apparently to maintain a high level of academic performance, THISDAY gathered that continuous assessment in the form of weekly test and other assignments during the period of training, are used to determine the student’s progress.

In this respect, it carries 20 per cent of the overall progress examination such as preliminary/introductory, sectional and pre-final examination, which carries 80 per cent and this determines the student’s progress, demotion and/or withdrawal.

THISDAY investigation revealed any student that obtains above 40 per cent but below 50 per cent total aggregate is given only one chance to reseat the subjects referred or failed, while any student that obtains 40 per cent or below aggregate in examination, including his continuous assessment (C.A.) is asked to withdraw from the training. But, a student must obtain 80 per cent attendance before he/she could be allowed to sit for any examination.

“In line with our guiding principle of health is wealth, it becomes highly desirable to have a health training institution that will cater for the health needs of the society in both urban and rural; our objective is to train our youth to learn the basic and advanced technologies to provide standard healthcare services to all and sundry,” Dabo told THISDAY in an interview.

Already, Dabo is being encouraged; with just few months old, the school has over 300 students, with almost 80 per cent females.
“This is very much encouraging; maybe in the second year, we can partner with external universities to have degree programmes. Gradually, our target is to make this school a medical university; our ultimate ambition is to have a medical university,” the founder added.

“Recently, Sudan University of Medical Sciences visited us; we are trying to strengthen our areas of training and research and partner with the school. They are even helping us with some staff,” he added.

Aminu Dabo College of Health Sciences and Technology is the first private health school in North-west to have accreditation by NABTECH. The school is two-fold: it has the NABTECH section, which is taking National Diploma and Higher National Diploma; people get admitted through JAMB. It also has the professional courses, which are being monitored and supervised by different councils of professional bodies. With different laboratory equipment, it can accommodate over 100 students at a time.

Like the founder said, “You can even run courses in the night because, it is a safe area. This is unique, and we want to try to maintain standards both in the area of teaching staff and the area of equipment.”
The proprietor said the school can compete with any school within or outside the country.