– As members walk for vaccination
As part of activities to commence the Ajumose Eko 2022 ACPN National Conference, which is also the 41st Annual National Conference of the association, members of the group, including the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), Prof. Cyril Usifoh, and National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Pharm. Wale Oladigbolu, and National Executive Council members, took to the streets of Lagos, Festac area precisely to walk in support of vaccination.
The ACPN Awareness Walk for Vaccination tagged “Vaccines Work” started at the gate of the conference venue, Festival Hotel, Festac, Lagos, and cut across major streets around the area, while it terminated at the popular Apple Junction, Festac, Lagos State.
Speaking with Pharmanewsonline during the exercise, the number one community pharmacist in the country, urged the public to embrace vaccination, adding that the country is in dire need of more resources for health and community pharmacists are available to close that gap.
He said, “Currently, about 100 pharmacists are administering COVID-19 vaccination nationwide out of 6530 willing and able community pharmacists. You will agree with me, that more pharmacists must be trained to close the gap in COVID-19 vaccination as well as routine immunisation”.
He continued, “It is important to tell our people that vaccine works, and since the 19th century, vaccines have been protecting millions of Nigerians indiscriminately. It does not know whether you are old or young, once it is proven by a pharmacist that it works, it would deliver, although, people are having vaccine hesitancy which brought about the lies and misconceptions we are having about COVID-19 vaccines, but with the great result recorded about hepatitis, it shows that it works.
He however commended Kayhelt Pharmaceuticals for sponsoring the Awareness Walk and for partnering with the association, adding that it is high time we changed our approach towards healthcare and embrace a preventive approach.
Also speaking, Ms Chigozie Onwukeme, admin manager, Kayhelt Pharma , noted that vaccines play a critical role in preventing deaths and hospitalisation caused by infectious diseases, and contribute to controlling the spread of the disease, thus their impact on infection and serious illness is significant.
According to her, in fulfilment of the company’s motto at Kayhelt, “Care for Health”, even though it does not have vaccines on its product list as a company, it still feels it is important to contribute to the effort towards reducing vaccine hesitancy, saying that was what necessitated the partnership with the ACPN today.
“We made provisions for t-shirts, caps, banners and fliers for the awareness rally, and we hope to do more whenever the need arises”, she said.
While speaking, the PSN President, Prof. Usifoh, who commended the ACPN for the awareness walk, also noted that Nigeria needs to scale up on meeting her primary healthcare needs, adding that the pharmacists are offering the whole country the knowledge, and skill of all community pharmacists.
The conference holds from July 25 to 29 July at the Festival Hotel, Festac, Lagos State, with the theme “Never Waste a Crisis: Community Pharmacists Learning For Future Preparedness”.