Efforts were made by a handful of Medical Records Officers in the Country prior to the first historic meeting in 1966. The meeting was held on the 8th June 1966 at Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Those present at the memorable meeting were Messrs. Onasanya, Jagun, Omigie, Okpala and Miss Shadare now Mrs. Adenubi.

Mr. Omigie was asked to act as Secretary/treasurer. The second meeting was held on 6th July 1966 when Mr. Akpabio joined his colleagues mentioned above. The approved name of the Association was Nigeria Association of Medical Records Officers which was in line with our British orientation. Unfortunately, there were no further official meetings due to the Nigerian Crisis of 1966170. However, a new effort was made at a meeting of 3rd may 1969. The draft constitution prepared in 1966 but was not ratified then, was tabled for discussion at a meeting held on the 12th July 1969. Those present at that meeting were Messrs. Onasanya, Jagun, Omigie, Shoge and Mrs. Adenubi. It was decided that another meeting be called for the purpose of taking final decision on the constitution. The memorable meeting was held at University College Hospital, Ibadan on the 11th October 1969 which was attended by Messrs. Onasanya, Jagun, Omigie, Shoge and Akanji.

The main purpose of that meeting was to approve the constitution and set in motion necessary machinery that would ensure effectiveness and to create the much needed awareness generally in Nigeria to train medical records personnel. Medical/Health Records/Health Information is as old as medicine and obviously it should be as old as evolution of orthodox medicine globally. Before the advent of colonial rule, traditional medicine was the main medical practice in Nigeria but painfully, there was no written document (records) about the practice to a great extent. The missionary organizations made meaningful contribution to the growth of medical work in Nigeria. Indeed they were the first to establish organized medical care in West Africa. For example the Roman Catholic Mission established the Sacred Health Hospital in Abeokuta which was completed in 1875.

We should also remember that some military hospitals were established to cater for sailors, naval squadrons and colonial officers. There was also a tiny make shift temporary civil hospital built in Asaba in 1888. In all these hospitals, medical records were initiated by the hospital nursing sister or medical social officer (almoner) as they were called and kept haphazardly. By the last decade or century, medical pioneers of the Anglicans, Sudan Interior and Sudan United Missions started a well organized medical work in Nigeria. Health services including the building of both government and missionary hospitals continued to expand progressively including some notable private hospitals.

The establishment of the University College, Ibadan an affiliate of the University of London motivated the government to establish a department of surgery and the post of dean of the medical school was created. By March 1948, Prof. Beatrice Joly was appointed head of the school, although, she needed to work at the General Hospital, Lagos to train medical students; some of them were drawn from the Yaba College.


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