The Anatomical Society of Nigeria (ASN) is set to review the BSc Anatomy curriculum in Nigerian universities.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its 12th Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting held at the University of Benin, Edo State, the ASN said its curriculum review committee, headed by Prof. T. B. Ekanem of the University of Calabar, recommended the inclusion of new courses for the department.
The new inclusions in the curriculum are: Behavioural and Reproductive Biology, Mortuary Science and Funeral Directing, Introduction to Forensic Science, Medical Anthropology and Archeology, Stereology and Biological Morphometry, Basic Histopathology, Sports Science, Aesthetics and Cosmetology and Basic Prosthetics.
The society also called for an outright review of its constitution, following the observed lapses in the current constitution and the ambiguity of the document on certain important issues, such as the tenure and membership of the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council.
The meeting also set up a five-man committee, headed by Prof. M. B. T. Umar of the University of Jos, to act on the mandate by the house.
In his welcome address at the conference, which was attended by about 400 scientists across the country, the President of the society, Prof. T.W. Jacks, expressed joy with the progress being made by the society.
In the guest lecture, titled “The Anatomist and Forensic Anthropology”, Dr. Wilson Akhiwu, who is the Force Pathologists and the Commissioner of Police, emphasized the need for anatomists in Nigeria to announce their presence and play their roles in the field of forensic sciences. He further stated that the major crop of forensic anthropologists and biologists should be formed by a background of anatomists that will contribute to the growing need for the forensic sciences in Nigeria.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Ayodele B. O. Desalu, who spoke on the ‘Role of Anatomist in Nation Building’, described the roles of anatomists in nation building as invaluable. He listed the areas in which anatomists are playing valuable roles to include security, economy, education and health care.
The communiqué also listed other decisions reached at the meeting to include: “Having observed the anachronistic nature of the Anatomical Act of 1933, an act that has been left buried in the sands of history, the AGM emphasized the need to review it in line with its current needs and contemporary issues surrounding the development of anatomy as a discipline; professionalising and diversifying the subject with the view to enthroning the subject as one of absolute boundlessness in the scheme biomedical, physical and earth sciences. It further directed that such revision should be initiated by the executive council and done through the appropriate channel-the National Assembly.
“The AGM was informed of the ill-advised directive from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to Vice-Chancellors to employ only appropriate medically qualified teachers to teach medical/dental students by 2019. However, the AGM was also informed that the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) has rejected the directive in its entirety because it runs contrary to global best practices which now encourage multidisciplinary approach to research for innovative discoveries across disciplines. As a result, the house called for continuous unity and peaceful coexistence for inter-professional capacity building between the two backgrounds of anatomy teachers in Nigeria