Pharm (Mrs) Rachael Odesanya, ALPs national PRO, has advised all lady pharmacists to be more Internet compliant, in order for them to be abreast of new developments in the profession, both in Nigeria and outside the country.
Odesanya, who spoke with Pharmanews in an exclusive interview, is also the chief pharmacist and the co-ordinator of the Pharmacovigilance Centre in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).
She said ALPs recognised the need for members to be Internet compliant a few years back, and conducted IT training for them, which included the use of Internet in Enugu. “However it appears that some are still lacking this skill, that is why I am urging those concerned to seek opportunity to improve themselves in this 21st century”.
The PRO, who hinted on the activities of ALPs, said the goal of the group for 2013 is for the current executive members to hand over to the newly elected officials, and preparations are on going to make it successful.
These and many more were her submissions. Below is the full text of the interview:
Could you tell us about yourself, background and past offices held?
I am a graduate of pharmacy from the University of Jos and a Fellow of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists. I hold a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. I work as a chief pharmacist and the co-ordinator of the Pharmacovigilance Centre in Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH). I enjoy giving lectures and helping people. I am an ordained elder in Elshaddai Covenant Ministries. I am a recipient of several awards, both at the national and local levels. I am married to Pharm. Olakunle Odesanya and we are blessed with three lovely children.
Background: I am Igala by tribe from Kogi State and born to Hon. Daniel and Grace Ogbadu.
Past offices: I held the following offices at both the state and national levels from 1995 till date: PRO, Secretary, Ex-officio member (ALSP Plateau State at various times before joining the national executive). National offices: Internal auditor and currently the National PRO (second tenure).
As the PRO of ALPs, how would you describe ALPs performance at the just concluded PSN conference in Abeokuta?
ALPs performance at the just concluded PSN conference in Abeokuta was very impressive. ALPs was well represented at the conference and in fact, the Ogun State chapter of ALPs was fully on ground, to ensure the success of the conference. ALPs was also part of the conference planning committee and gave her full support to PSN. So, we did well. Up ALPs!
Could you tell us about the goals of the group for the year 2013?
Our goal for 2013 is mainly for the current executive members to hand over to new elected officials and we plan to make it successful. We have put structures in place, like the creation of ALPs website, and we want the new exco to continue to build on the current achievements. We also want to consolidate on our various state projects, like the girl-child training, and building of a quality control laboratory.
And what are the means to achieve these goals?
Through conferences, meetings, outreaches, workshops, advocacy and collaboration with other women groups and PSN.
It was in the news recently that women are lagging behind in the use of Internet. What programmes do you think can boost the Internet usage of your members?
ALPs recognised this a few years ago and conducted training in IT, including the use of Internet in Enugu for her members. Programmes which will enlighten women on the importance of Internet use, as well as the provision of Internet facilities not too far from the homes and offices will help. Women can be encouraged to download applications into their cell phones and subscribe to Internet facilities, to enable them browse right from their sitting rooms and kitchens.
As women, do you think your members can do well on plant research to the benefits of their patients?
Oh yes! Plant research is a major programme of ALPs for some years now and our technical adviser is the current director of the Nigerian Medicinal Plants Development Company, in the person of Pharm. Hajia Zainab Shariff. Medicinal plants were our focus at the 2009 conference held in Abuja, with the theme: Cultivation of medicinal plants for nutritional, health and economic empowerment of women. We discussed how these plants can benefit our patients and ALPs has researched into medicinal plants and identified where they can be grown in Nigeria. We have produced the Nigerian Medicinal Plant Compendium and it is currently on sale. This is because ALPs is in the forefront of promoting Nigerian medicinal plants.
What are the challenges of ALPs nationally, and how could these be resolved?
Our major challenge in ALPs national is the need to involve all members. Since the birth of ALPs in 1986 by three great mentors namely: Pharm. (Mrs) Amoni E. Pepple, Pharm. (Mrs) Adeline Wariso and Pharm. (Mrs) Ngozi Dolly Onugha (all FPSN), ALPs has grown and achieved quite a lot over the years, but would have done more if we have more passionate members who can cover lots of ground, if they are available to ALPs.
In addition, finance is a big challenge to ALPs national, and most of our laudable projects are stunted, due to lack of funds.
What is your advice to all pharmacists across the nation?
I encourage all pharmacists in Nigeria to be passionate about the profession. We should see it above every individual pharmacist, so that we can have a say in the scheme of things. We need to come together, rather than pull each other down; so that we can achieve great things for our profession, thereby making everyone proud to be a pharmacist in Nigeria. Do not give up on personal development!