Prof Moyosore Salihu Ajao, a professor of Anatomy at the University of Ilorin has revealed that limited number of cadavers for study in most medical schools in the country has been identified as hobbling the study of anatomy and achievements of its attendant gains.
He made the observation while delivering the 214th Inaugural Lecture at the university, titled, ‘The Belly, the Brain and the Environmental Toxins: Balancing the Conflicts Between Necessity and Cost’.
The scholar observed that a unique thing about the study of Anatomy in most schools is the non-availability of “Raw materials” needed for its practical classes.
According to him,”They are never sold in the market in any part of the world,” he said, referring to the availability of dead bodies for study.
“Since human anatomy is the science that is concerned with the structures of the human body, these structures cannot be fully understood from written descriptions to dimensional pictures or plastic models.
“The dissection of human body (cadavers) is the basis for understanding the structure and functions of the human body for several centuries.
“In other words, to fully understand the importance of cadavers to man is far and beyond what we should overlook.
“The first major challenge I noticed on my assumption of office as a young lecturer in the department of anatomy was the chronic shortages of cadavers in the department and after a quick check on other universities, I discovered that we are not alone in the struggle to get bodies fit enough for dissection,” he stated.
Citing one of his studies, Prof Ajao observed that there are different causes of the lack in the Nigerian varsities which reflected a poor ratio of students to cadaver during study in medical schools in Nigeria.
“This finding is consistent with the earlier report from China, where about 12 to 15 students used a body against International Standard that recommend maximum of six students to one body.
“The National Universities Commission recommends an average of eight students per body in Nigeria.
Ajao said that pressure to produce more doctors in the country keeps mounting every year and so the students’ population continued to rise while provisions of facilities including cadavers supply are limited.