Medicine: History

Historical Background

The history of the Faculty of Medicine dates back to 1961, when the Federal Government, in a white paper, decided that by 1970 there would be a fully-fledged Faculty of Medicine at Ahmadu Bello University. The National Universities Commission (NUC), in its report in 1963, fully supported this intention of the Federal Government. In 1966, Ahmadu Bello University, headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ishaya S. Audu planned jointly with the Ministry of Health of the old Northern Region headed by Dr R.A. Barau Dikko for the immediate formation of the Faculty of Medicine.

In October 1966, key personnel such as Professor P.S.C. Bunning from the University of London and Professor F. Collis from the University of Lagos, arrived in Kaduna. Their task was to undertake a feasibility study for the establishment of the Medical School and draft a curriculum.

The curriculum for the Medical degree programme was drafted with the input of Professor P.S.C. Bunning, Professor R.F. Collins, Professor T.F. Nicholson from Toronto who became the second Dean of the Faculty after pioneering deanship of Professor Umaru Shehu (who was also the First Director of the Institute of Health of the University which is now renamed Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital ABUTH), Professor M.H. King from University of Zambia, Professor K.R. Hill from University of London and Professor W.J.E. Joseph from the World Health Organisation.

On 25th November 1966, the Council of the University approved the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine.

The Curriculum Committee of the Faculty Board of Medicine has through the years made necessary revisions to accommodate contemporary health and training needs.

The Faculty of Medicine came into being at a moment in the history of Nigeria when the Northern Region of the Country had a handful of Nigerian doctors (doctor: patient ratio was then 1:300, 000) available to provide the much needed medical services.

Consequently, the first batch of Medical students commenced training in 1967, and graduated in June 1972. Initially there were 8 departments, later others were subsequently added – Ophthalmology in 1974, Dental Surgery in 1979; Traumatic and Orthopaedic Surgery, and Psychiatry in 1980. Presently the Faculty has grown to 18 Departments.

The MBBS programme was the only programme ran by the Faculty until in the 1984/85 session when a 3-year B.Sc programme in Anatomy and Physiology were added. The main aim of this was to train indigenous trainers in these important pre-clinical subjects. In the 1997/98 session Bachelor of Nursing Sciences (BNSc) commenced. Very soon we hope to start Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS); BSc Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLS).

Former and Present Deans

1. Professor Umaru Shehu (1st Dean) 1967
2. Professor T.F. Nicholson 1967-69
3. Professor P.M. Edwards 1969
4. Professor H. Scarborough 1969-1976
5. Professor K.A. Harrison 1976-1978
6. Professor A.B. Bandipo 1978-1982
7. Professor K. Ijaiya 1982-1984
8. Professor C.O. Adesanya 1984-1988
9. Professor E.I. Mbamali 1988-1989
10. Professor A.M. Yakubu 1989-1994
11. Professor I. Muhammad 1994-1998
12. Professor I. Abdu-Aguye 1998-2002
13. Professor H.A. Aikhionbare 2002-2006
14. Professor A.H. Rafindadi 2006-2008
15. Dr M.S. Shehu (Current) 2008 to date

Growth of the Faculty
The Faculty of Medicine commenced training in 1966 with the MBBS programme only. The Faculty now offers undergraduate courses leading to the award of the following degrees:-

1. Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) six year programme
2. Bachelor of Science(B.Sc) Human Physiology (Hon) four year programme
3. Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Human Anatomy (Hon) four year programme
4. Bachelor of Nursing Sciences (B.N.Sc) five year programme

The following are proposed undergraduate programmes:-

1. Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science(BMLS)
2. Bachelor of Science Physiotherapy BSc Physiotherapy
3. Bachelor of Dental Surgery(BDS)

Post Graduate Programmes offered in the Faculty:

1. Master of Science (MSc) Human Anatomy
2. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Human Anatomy
3. Master of Science (MSc) Human Physiology
4. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Human Physiology
5. Master in public health (MPH)
6. Master of Science (MSc) Chemical Pathology
7. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Chemical Pathology
8. Master of Science MSc) Immunology
9. Master in Field Epidemiology(with Laboratory component)
10. Doctor of Philosophy Doctor of Medicine (MD)
11. Postgraduate Fellowship Training in conjunction with the National and West Postgraduate Medical Colleges in all specialties in medicine.
12. Master of Science (MSc)and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Laboratory Management as well Masters in Reproductive Health – to start soon