University College Hospital, Ibadan
50 Years of Human Health Resource Development

Prof. Olajide O. Ajayi CON, FACS (Hon.)

Former Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital


Fifty-two years ago, the ambition to read medicine at the University College Hospital, Ibadan made me a frequent visitor to Ibadan in preparation for the entrance examination. I was a frequent guest of a friend and classmate who lived in the unventilated garage of Dr. (later Professor) Sanya Onabamiro, the famous Nigerian Scholar and parasitologist. My friend, Festus Osiyemi, (now a retired professor of biochemistry) and Dr. Sanya Onabamiro were brothers-in-law.

The train journey from Lagos ended opposite the central post office in Dugbe, Ibadan. In the skyline, as you faced east on the way to join Oyo Road for the university campus, was a massive building under construction. It was Nigeria’s premier university teaching hospital: The University College Hospital (UCH). It was magnificent as it stood propped up by an extensive network of scaffolding. It was an inspiring sight which had a multiplier effect on my ambition to be a doctor. I dreamt of the day that I would become one and work in that hospital when completed.

The dream became a reality twelve years later. The reality lasted thirty-two years and ended with my headship of the institution as the chief medical director, for eight years. Today, almost ten years after retiring, I stand before you in celebration of the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the University College Hospital. To God be the glory. I must thank the current hospital leadership for counting me worthy on the occasion to be the ‘special guest lecturer’, an opportunity which, for me, in a moment of deep reflection, is not only an emotional experience but also a reason for personal thanksgiving.

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