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Unilorin COBES students identify challenges in Kwara communities



Four hundred level Nursing students and 200 level Physiotherapy students of the University of Ilorin who were posted to different communities in Kwara State have identified health challenges which are peculiar to Ilala, Ogbondoroko, Omupo and Shao communities. They also gave the state government some useful insights into areas in need of intervention.

Some of the areas in need of attention in the Kwara communities emerged last Monday (June 26, 2023) during the presentation of reports by students who were on Community Based Experience and Services (COBES) posting from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The presentation by the students revealed that all Primary Health Care facilities in the communities are under-equipped in terms of staffing and medications.

The communities visited also suffer improper waste disposal methods including open defecation at refuse dumps and rivers.

The presentations also show that while the factories in Ogbondoroko are helping to evolve the community towards urbanisation, noise pollution and sound pollution from the factories constitute serious health hazards in Ogbondoroko.

On its part, the group posted to Ilala reported that the Primary Health Care facility in Ilala lacks doctors and it is not well equipped for emergencies. The community, however, produces okra, a good source of vitamin, in abundance.

The students also recommended that local and state governments should intervene by addressing poor drainage system in Omupo to improve the health of the people. They noted that being a community where a lot of rice processing is done, there is significant deforestation in Omupo because of the firewood used for processing rice.

Students posted to Shao reported that improper waste disposal is a major challenge in the town. They noted that open defecation is prevalent in the community.

In his remarks, Prof. Adefalu of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, who represented the University management at the event, recalled that COBES was restricted to students of Medicine in his undergraduate days and expressed delight that the field training has now been extended to other programmes in other Faculties.

In his own address, the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. B.S. Alabi, said that COBES is synonymous with the University of Ilorin and the founding fathers of the University envisioned that medical practice is not useful if it is not relevant to communities. He noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is now putting emphasis on Primary Health care.

On his part, the Coordinator of the COBES programme, Dr A.S Adeniran, noted that the students are good ambassadors of the University, which is the reason why all the communities sent representatives to the presentation.

The representatives of the various communities appreciated the University for the annual COBES training and commended the students for being courteous in their various outreach and counselling programmes.

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