Four U.S. Fulbright scholars are in Nigeria to conduct research in various fields.
This was made known during a round table meeting at the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday.
The group of scholars are in the country under the aegis of the Fulbright Scholarship Programme.
The Fulbright Program is one of several U.S. Cultural Exchange programmes that has the goal of improving intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy and intercultural competence between the U.S. and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.
The programme is a yearly America exchange programme where Nigerian Scholars go to academic institutions in America for a year and American scholars come to Nigeria for the same duration.
One of the four scholars, Ugochi Nwosu, said her research focused on the strength and weaknesses of hypertension management in Nigeria’s public and private healthcare system.
Nwosu who is attached to the University of Lagos for the duration of her research said the objective of her work was to provide patients and hospitals with the information they need to get access to better healthcare.
“In the one month I have been here, I have noticed some challenges from the patients’ perspectives.
“A lot of patients seek out care in the private sector which requires huge out of pocket payment.
“I have also noticed that in the clinic they tend to have long waiting time and so a lot of people have to clear a whole day out of their schedule in order to be able to see a doctor.
“There are several opportunities for improvement.”
Nwosu said after her research she would be making recommendations to the patients and hospitals in order to have an improved healthcare.
“My recommendation at the end of my research will be for either the hospital or patients themselves because there might be opportunities to provide information to patients which might not require them to go to the hospital.
“For example those things as nutritional counselling, there might be opportunities to create either telephone messages or SMS messages, apps and thing like that.
“I’m really thinking innovatively about what other opportunities outside just patient-doctor interaction we have to improve the way people access primary care”.
Another Scholar, Samson Marguerite, who is attached to Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital is developing and validating tools to determine the risk factors for Colorectal Cancer in Nigeria.
According to her, there are studies that have shown that Colorectal Cancer in Nigeria is different from Colorectal Cancer in America.
“There are studies that have shown that Colorectal Cancer in Nigeria looks different from Colorectal Cancer in America.
“That is the driving force behind my research. To understand the differences and to evaluate the role of diet and nutrition.”
Joseph Orban, a professor and also a scholar has been instructing the students of Benue State University in departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Nutrition and Pharmacology.
Orban who has been in Nigeria since September said he has helped a facility in Minna raise 11 million naira.
The facility that builds human models that are used by institutions as teaching aids to teach Anatomy, Biology and related courses in schools was able to raise the money through recommendations made by Orban.
“I was invited by a certain equipment development institute in Minna to go and access the programmes they are doing.
“They had a subsidiary company that is supposed to produce human models for training of medical doctors and other students in biological sciences that are supposed to be used as teaching aids.
“I went and assessed the facility and made recommendations to them and based on those recommendations, they were able to have money released to them, about 11 million naira”
Orban also has been involved in training faculty and Staff members of Benue State University and University of Mkar in Grant Writing.
Eric Covey, a visiting assistant Professor said Nigerian students could comfortably compete with their international counterparts and even win.
Covet who is in Nigeria to research Nigerian political, legal and cultural responses to mercenary forces after 1960 said in spite of the challenges faced by Nigerian students, they still excelled in their chosen fields.
“Nigerian students can stand up to other international students in terms of their ability to do critical work.
“I would say though, that that ability has been developed in spite of tremendous challenges in Nigerian Universities and the kind of abuses they suffer”.
Covet further said that the kind of resilience Nigerian students show has given them the strength to face any challenges.