Olu-Adegbola Folusho was inaugurated as UIMSA’s new Public Relations Officer (PRO) on the 20th of May, 2023. Entrusted with the authority to oversee the Association’s public image, communication, and dissemination of information across each social media platform, Mr Folusho took up the responsibility to blend his constitutional obligations with his ambitious plans. 

In this review, we shall evaluate Mr Folusho’s performance during this tenure, focusing on his adherence to the constitution and the effective implementation of his outlined plans in his manifesto.  

According to Article VIIb of the association’s constitution, the Public Relations Officer’s responsibilities include:

  • Shall in consultation with the Executive be responsible for the external and internal publicity of the activities of the Association.
  • Shall make such statements on behalf of the Association as may from time to time be deemed fit by the Executive.
  • Shall be the Chairman of the Publication Committee.
  • Shall perform all such other duties as are hereinafter allocated to him under other articles of this constitution and by the Executive Council.

One notable plan of his was to bridge the gap between UIMSAites by sending personalized birthday messages via email. However, this initiative could only reach 150 members due to difficulties in identifying suitable platforms for mass distribution and financial constraints from the prior platform, Substack. Speaking with the UIMSA Press, he explained that he was able to deliver the 150 emails despite this hurdle by manually leveraging his official email account. Unfortunately, he could only deliver to a select few, meaning this plan was unfulfilled.

As Chairperson of the Publication Committee, he oversaw the release of bi-weekly content for noteworthy events such as the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, World Heart Day, #LearnwithUIMSA, Scrubs Friday, and many more. He also significantly augmented the Association’s social media presence, resulting in a noticeable increase in follower engagement.  

The Public Relations Officer, in collaboration with members of the publicity committee, worked together to produce the 5th edition of the UIMSA Primus List. Exercising his discretion by employing a strategy known as the “Provost Criteria”, he ensured a transparent and impartial vetting process during applications and nominations. To buffer his discretion as the PRO, he excluded nominated committee members from being part of the selection process.

Despite the successful release of the Primus List, a few issues surfaced during his leadership, such as neglect of the Association’s website and failure to publish the Medscion magazine. When asked about his role in the current situation, he stated that there had been a technical problem with the website since the previous administration. This explains why most of the content on the website is outdated, inaccessible and sometimes missing. According to him, there is a need to redesign and address pending cybersecurity concerns, for the website to be fully running.

Similarly, the MEDSCION magazine is set to pass over to the next tenure due to insufficient funds and slow editing of some articles. This makes it more than three years since the last issue was released in March 2021. Acknowledging the course of events, Mr. Folusho organized a fundraising campaign, seeking donations from alumni and external stakeholders, to cover the cost of production. Securing a significant donation from the Ibadan Medical Specialists Group (IMSG) representative, he was able to fund the first draft, though not enough for a full-scale publication. The advertisement slot, thought to be another way to raise funds, was also insufficient to complete the magazine. 

In conclusion, Folusho carried out his duties under the constitution as the PRO. However, financial limitations posed a significant obstacle to the realization of some initiatives. This highlights a perennial issue in the Executive Council’s inability to source adequate funding. It is essential that Mr Folusho’s successor learns from these experiences and carve a way for efficient service delivery and smart resource management in the tenure ahead.

Ndidiamaka Okafor

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