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We want to produce 1,000 female doctors in Kano by 2020 –Ma’ajin Watarin Kano

Just recently you advertised the setting up of a foundation to help in producing adequate female medical doctors in Kano. Why the interest in female…

Just recently you advertised the setting up of a foundation to help in producing adequate female medical doctors in Kano. Why the interest in female doctors?

Quite a number of our hospitals lack female doctors. So we established the foundation to educate our female population to become medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical personnel. We hope to eradicate the problems associated with lack of female medical doctors in the hospitals.

In essence, you are coming in to address the problem because government has failed to do something about it?

We are not saying government has failed to address the issue. But the burden is too much for the government. Government is faced with a lot of challenges that makes it difficult for it alone to handle everything. Therefore, there is every need for the community to come in and participate. I am sure a lot of people will join me in other areas.

What is the scope of the foundation?

Like I said earlier we would want to train our girls to become medical doctors. In this case, the government will provide the teachers and the students, while the foundation will provide good laboratories and science books. We are going to provide that up to the time they will finish their senior secondary school. By the time they finished, the foundation will look for university admission for them. Maybe by that time the foundation is a little buoyant, we can give them scholarship for them to study medicine in any part of the world. I’m sure by the time we train them up to secondary school, the government will come in at that time. Another area is environmental awareness on how to eradicate malaria. Although the government is providing net as a fight against malaria, that may not be enough. What people need to do first of all is to destroy the breeding places for malaria. We know that mosquito causes malaria. By destroying mosquitoes you are eradicating malaria. The foundation through its programs can also help to reduce the number of “almajirai” who troop into our cities. And by the time you established schools in their locality they may not bother to come to urban centers like Kano. So this is in a nutshell the scope of the foundation.

How many students do you intend to train in the next two years?

My prediction is to start with 50 students. And as time goes on we will end up having 30 students in each of the 44  local government areas of Kano and even the neighbouring Jigawa State. I also intend to establish computer laboratory in Jahun and Ringim. By the year 2020 we expect to have at least 1320 medical doctors, meaning 30 graduates from each of the 44 local government areas of Kano State. God willing, we are going to succeed.

How do you source the fund to finance this project?

My family and I will be the ones to finance it. I have the property which we rent out. The proceeds from this rent will be used to set up businesses so as to generate money. The project is capital intensive, but it is not perishable. By the time you buy books or refurbish laboratory, it will take you two or more years before you think of replacing new ones. We also have plan of fixed deposit which can serve as additional means of raising capital for the project. Although the foundation is not expecting money from anybody, if they contribute we will thank them. So, this is how we intend to finance the foundation.

When do you intend to launch it?

I don’t think there is really need to make formal launch. We’ve already launched it during my speech in Gabasawa when we established a computer laboratory in Zakirai town. So, it has already been launched. What we need now is for the government to give the teachers and the students. That’s all we need.

Do you intend to collaborate with other bodies for the success of the foundation?

Absolutely; we need the assistance of government. We can’t do it all alone. Definitely, it is the government that will provide the students and the teachers. Ours is to provide all necessary equipment; laboratory equipment, uniforms and books. This foundation will be responsible for all these. What we only need from government are the students and the teachers. How they pay them is their own business.

What would be the criteria for selection of students from the local government areas?

The criteria are simple. We are going to liaise with ministry of education. The ministry will go into those local government areas to scout for intelligent students. But interest and ability are the key criteria. The girls have to be interested in reading medicine, pharmacy or any of the other desired disciplines.

What are you doing to ensure that the foundation continues even after your life?

Like I said my family and I have discussed about this extensively. Not a will so to speak, but I have made it very clear to them that this property should not be part of their inheritance for at least some years. But when the foundation is well established, then they can take over. So, even after my life, the foundation will continue. It is something we are doing to help people and since we are doing it to help, I am sure God will be by our side and will not allow the foundation to die like that.

Do you intend to engage the services of experts that would help the foundation?

Absolutely; but this is going to be much later. This requires technical experts; I may need supporting staff. But that may be very much later. If we engage someone, he may be an expert in medicine or environment. But the daily administration for now is going to be purely by  my family. We may recruit people to assist in achieving our objectives. But at later date, we may decide to engage experts. How they will be engaged will depend on the situation or the circumstance at a particular time. Then we will tell them how they are going to come in and what they will do. This however depends on our achievement. So far this is what we have in mind.

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