In recognition of their immense contributions to healthcare and the development of Pharmacy education in Nigeria, Pharm.(Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, publisher, Pharmanews; Pharm. Luke C. Kikanme; and Pharm. Allen Iboi, have bagged the Igbinedion University PANS Awards of Excellence.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a week-long Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO) PANS event, with the theme “Beyond the shelf and drugstore: The 8-Star pharmacist in policy making and governance”, held at the Library Auditorium, Permanent Site, IUO, Edo State, Atueyi said he was grateful to PANS, IUO for the honour done to him, and by extension Pharmanews, as he counseled the students to be determined and focused.
Atueyi, represented by Mr Adebayo Oladejo, senior reporter, Pharmanews, urged the undergraduates to endeavour to add value to society while upholding excellence, which the Pharmacy profession is known for.
Delivering his keynote address, Kikanme, stated that an 8-Star pharmacist, according to the World Health Organisation standard must be a Caregiver, Decision-Maker, Communicator, Manager, Lifelong learner, Teacher, Leader and Researcher.
He said the keywords constitute the declaration of the fundamental principles of the profession based on moral obligation, adding that the pharmacists in this category work assiduously to protect and improve the well-being of society, safeguard the distribution of medicines, hold confidential knowledge about their patients and clients, enlarge knowledge, maintain honour and never do anything that will tarnish the image of the profession.
“The emerging 8-Star pharmacist is a bundle of love in his or her local community, sees all patients irrespective of the previous appointment, scales up cases that need medical attention and must rapidly build a monumental relationship with people that matter because of the value of linkage effect”, he said.
He continued, “Many challenges such as funding, crime, quackery, fake products, forex scarcity, devaluation of naira, inflation, running cost, and critical decisions are there for you as starters, but self-actualisation, the establishment of contact, both in the public and private sector, as well as the necessity of association, cannot be overemphasized”.
Also speaking on the topic “The 8-Star pharmacist in community pharmacy practice: A leader and a manager”, Pharm. Iboi, who is also the chairman of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Edo State Chapter, said, pharmacy practice is undergoing a significant transformation in the world, and evolving from medication-centred pharmacy to both medication and patient-centred pharmacy.
“Community pharmacists are well-respected professionals within their local community, who use their expert knowledge of medicines to help patients get the best possible care and outcomes from their medicines”, he averred.
According to the ACPN boss, community pharmacists who have the ability to reach the latest valid scientific evidence and have the competence to communicate -by using the most effective communication skills- and use evidence-based information to the patients and stakeholders who need it, will be the most required and most sought-after pharmacists.
He however called on Pharmacy students to embrace challenges and welcome difficulties, adding that there is no profession without its challenges.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Dean, Dora Akunyili College of Pharmacy, IUO, Prof. Igbe Ighodaro, noted that over the years, the college has demonstrated an enviable reputation for producing pharmacy graduates with great prospect of practising in different fields such as academia, hospital, industries, administration, research and in other human endeavours, adding that the students are in the process of building their future.
Represented by Associate Prof. Aiwaguore Obarisiagbon of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, he said, “I want you to have a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and yourself. Your integrity as a future pharmacist should not be compromised. You must have as the basic principle, the determination to achieve excellence in your various field of endeavour. I also urge you, in spite of the country’s economic plight, in spite of the situation that you find yourself in today, not to lose focus until you achieve success.
The high point of the event was the launching and unveiling of the Regimen Magazine, a yearly journal of the faculty, and the presentation of trophies and medals to the football team by the President, PANS, IUO, Larry Clinton, and his counterpart from the University of Benin, Edo State, Osakpolor Ogiemudia.