V-C Commends Wits Varsity On Int'l Skeletal Workshop


Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, has commended experts from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, for collaborating with the University of Port Harcourt on a 5-day workshop on Human Skeletal Identification. 
Speaking when he received the South African team and its counterparts from the Department of Human Anatomy in the University of Port Harcourt, at a courtesy call on him on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, Professor Lale, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Professor Regina Ogali, commended the facilitators from Wits for their willingness to share their pool of experience with their local colleagues. 
“We are happy to note that universities from across Nigeria are well represented in this workshop. This means that this University and other institutions have a lot to gain from this important workshop. We hope that at the end of the training, participants would be better off in this critical area of specialisation,” she said.
Introducing the team, an Alumnus of the University and Head of the Morphological Anatomy Division in Wits, Professor Amadi Ihunwo, noted that the workshop was a collaborative effort between the Human Variation and Identification Research Unit, School of Anatomical Sciences of Witwatersrand University led by its Director, Professor Maryna Steyn and a Lecturer in the School, Ms. Anja Meyer in collaboration with the Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences in the College of Health Sciences, UniPort. 
 “The workshop is a fall-out of an on-going collaboration between the two universities. Biological Anthropology is one of the strengths of Wits University. So, we felt the need for colleagues in UniPort to appraise the global aspect of the research. The workshop facilitator is a globally known specialist in human skeletal remains. Professor Steyn is a Forensic Anthropologist and President of the Anatomical Society of South Africa.  We wish to initiate this area of research to make this place a centre of excellence to drive global approach to skeletal identification in this part of the world. UniPort has a right to stand a chance to drive this research in Nigeria,” Professor Ihunwo, who was honoured at the 31st Convocation Ceremony, said.
In their contributions, Dean of the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Professor Chijioke Nwauche and Acting Head of the Department of Human Anatomy, Dr. Michael Oyakhire, described the Faculty as a flagship of the College and University. They described the workshop as one of the programmes mounted to improve research capabilities and service to society. “We want to be part of more intra-African collaborations in training and research,” Oyakhire remarked.
Areas covered at the workshop included the Scope of Forensic Anthropology, Excavation and Retrieval of Human Remains, Dealing with Commingled Remains, Interpretation of Taphonomic Changes, Osteology Practical: Identification of Fragments, Animals versus Humans, Assessment of Age in Adults, Estimation of Sex, Stature, Lab-age and Sex, Assessment of Ages in Juveniles.  The Workshop attracted participants from over 10 universities in the country, including the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Bayero University, Kano.

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