FUTO in search of appropriate technology for Africa’s health problems



In recent time, the burden of disease outbreak in developing countries is high. Most of the technologies developed and deployed tend not to specifically address the health problems in developing countries.

However, developing countries are beginning to undertake innovative approaches to create simple and cost effective technologies that are appropriate to address their fundamental health problems.

It is against this background that a four-day International Congress with the theme: “Innovative Technologies for Disease Prevention & Wellness Promotion,” was recently organized by the School of Health Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO).

The seminar provided a platform for Academics, Scientists, Policy makers, Industrialists and other stakeholders to discuss appropriate health technologies towards enhancing disease prevention and wellness promotion in Nigeria and other developing countries.

The congress which is the third in its series, had the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Francis C. Eze as the Chief host, Congress President/Dean, School of Health Technology; Rev. Sr. Prof. E.T. Oparaocha, Chairman Local Organizing Committee, Dr. Jervas Ekezie, Keynote Speaker: Prof. Hakeem Babatunde Fawehinmi and the Guest Speaker, Prof. Emmanuel C. Opara, Director of Graduate Programms, Wake Forest School of Medicine NC USA.

In his address, the Vice Chancellor, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ndukwe James Okeudo, (DVC Academics), said it is remarkable that the    annual congress has been consistently held in FUTO for the three years I’ve been in office as the vice chancellor which is an affirmation of the intellectual prowess of FUTO as an exceptional university.

The chief host then revealed that many diseases today have become resistance to the application they are made for and this concern makes this third annual congress a welcome development.

In our attempt to make our humble contribution to this challenge has carried out awareness programmes on ways of preventing diseases.

The Local Organizing Committee Chairman, Dr. Jervas Okezie in his address stated that the theme of this year’s congress is very apt and paramount following the recent outbreak of communicable diseases (such as Ebola, Monkey pox etc) and non-communicable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, stroke.

“This August gathering would afford scientists the opportunity to present and discuss their recent discoveries in disease prevention and wellness promotion in line with the following sub-themes: “Medical Informatics, Innovative Technologies in Cancer Detection and Prevention, Improved Maternal and Child Healthcare etc.” Dr. Ekezie also added that if these sub-themes are well researched, presented and adopted they would go a long way to reducing the high rate of mortality and morbidy in Nigeria and other developing countries.

In her address, the Congress President/Dean of SOHT, Rev. Sr. Prof. E.T. Oparaocha recalled that last year, “Appropriate Technologies for Health and Disease – An Innovative Approach to Drive Sustainable Healthcare  delivery,” was discussed and the success of the congress opened a new vestige of challenge which informed the choice of the year’s theme: “Innovative technologies for Disease Prevention and Wellness Promotion,” which is very essential with the hindsight of the ravaging onslaught of diseases like malaria, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

“The burden of disease outbreak and how to find appropriate health technologies that will help to enhance disease prevention and promote wellness has become a disturbing aspect with people living in this part of the globe,” she said.

The Congress President lamented that, the Nigeria of our dream will be a fluke if there is no conscious effort by experts and scholars in the field of public health to address current issues of disease prevention and wellness promotion.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Hakeem Babatunde Fawehinmi, stressed that this year’s congress is mostly centered on the prevention of diseases in our country. He then introduced the term P4 Medicine coined by an American scientist “Leroy Hood” to find a systematic approach to healthcare. The P4 stands for Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory.




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