A Professor of Surgery, Paediatrics and Obstetrics at the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA, Oluyinka Olutoye has charged Nigerians to create an environment for innovative discovery.
Professor Olutoye gave the charge during the 11th Annual Prof T.A.I. Grillo’s Memorial Lecture organised by the College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, at Oduduwa Hall, on Thursday, in Ile-Ife.
The Guest Speaker spoke on the topic “Progress Through Innovation & Discovery: Advances in Surgery Before Birth”.
He noted that Nigerians are good at identifying problems but not at solving them.
“In Nigeria, we are very good at identifying problems. We can expound on the merits and demerits of solutions others may offer. But we need to do better at actually solving the problems.
“We cannot wait on others to proffer solutions to our own problems and challenges, not someone else, not even government,” he suggested.
EduCeleb.com recalls that Olayinka Olutoye was the Nigerian doctor who led 21 US doctors in the “baby born twice surgery”. In 2016, Olutoye led a surgery on an unborn baby with sacrococcygeal teratoma, a rare tumour that appeared at the base of the baby’s tailbone and returned the baby to its mother’s womb thereafter.
Olutoye, who acquired his medical degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, in 1988 before his doctoral degree in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, in 1996, had relocated from Nigeria to the US to seek further educational opportunities years ago.
The Guest Speaker called on all and sundry to identify their own problems and come up with their own innovative solutions.
Olukoye assured all that no one person can solve all the problems of the world, but if all contribute their own quota to the bits, the overall impact will be substantial.
The surgeon cited OAU as a centre of excellence which has several innovation such as creation of the yam pounder, extraction of medicine for sickle cell disease among others.
He expressed further that Nigerians is rich in human resources, saying the proportion of extremely bright and talented individuals in any environment is the same.
The expert urged individuals to be stimulated, supported and be encouraged so as to use their skills and intellect for positive gain, added that with their curiosity would be stir up.
He therefore appealed to institutions of higher learning to make a way forward by creating an environment of transparency, accountability and efficiency that would manage endowment and naming opportunities.
“Institutions should establish a review system based on meritocracy that would award limited resources to deserving individuals and to translate the innovative findings to usable advance and technology that would benefit the society at large.
“They should set up a framework and expectation that funds allocated would be used exclusively for the purpose it dedicated for, with appreciate regular oversight to ensure severe enforcement penalties for deviant behaviour,” he stated.
The Chairman of the occasion and Vice Chancellor of OAU, Eyitope Ogunbodede, appreciated the guest speaker, organisers and other dignitaries that graced the occasion.
Professor Ogunbodede said that the programme is of key interest of the Institution, saying that the University is making progress and achievement daily.
He charged all to always see the positive of the Institution, and congratulated the guest speaker for his greater attainment and for being a good ambassador of the University.
Also, the Dean of Faculty of Ophthalmology, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Bernice Adegbehingbe said that Prof Olutoye is a symbol of excellence that do them proud in Nigeria and globally.
Professor Adegbehingbe charged all to be a solution to the problems in their reach and stop complaining so as to make brighter future.
Also, a Professor of ENT at the school, Professor Yemisi Amusa urged the general public to support the innovation, identify the problems and use all skills and other resources to make a way out for the country.
Earlier, the Provost, College of Health Sciences at OAU, Professor Kayode Ijadunola, lauded all his guests, appreciated the faculty for the annual programme.
He appealed to the friends of the college and University community to stand up to assist and support the college, so as to make the faculty to achieve more success.