- Honour members for their contribution
Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State Chapter has charged members to improve on their practice, especially in upscaling to multilevel engagement in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The association made the call during the opening ceremony of its 2021 Scientific Week, held at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, on Thursday.
The Scientific Week, themed: “Combating Pandemic: Multilevel Engagement of Pharmacists”, also featured presentation of awards to prominent pharmacists who have played significant roles in the progress of the state branch. The awardees include: Pharm. Kunle Oyelana, GMD, Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) Nigeria; Pharm. Yinka Subair, keynote speaker and country manager, Pfizer Speciaties Ltd, Lagos; Pharm.(Dr) Titilayo Onedo, chairman, planning committee for the programme and chairman, Lagos State, AHAPN; Pharm. (Sir) Chukwudi Paulinus Obiukwu; Mr Adetunji Doherty; Pharm, Victoria Okon; Pharm.(Mrs) Olubunmi M. Omaruaye and others.
Pharm. Subair, in his keynote address earlier commended the Lagos pharmacists for their various roles in the healthcare team, but pointed out that they are not doing enough to get the attention of government and citizens. He acknowledged that although they are speaking but their voices are not loud enough to effect the necessary changes required to place the profession in its rightful position in the health sector.
He maintained that if all other healthcare professionals shutdown services in a pandemic, pharmacists can’t afford to lock up their pharmacies, because they are the most accessible points of care for patients the world over and proper care cannot be said to have been completed without the right prescriptions given to patients.
According to him: “The profession of Pharmacy is not making enough impacts. Our voices as pharmacists’ are not loud enough to attract needed attention. We will need to go the direction of strong propaganda, to win our way to the hearts of the people. We must ensure that anything that is not tied to patients should not fly in the healthcare team.
“It should not be heard of that pharmacies are locked up in a pandemic. We must always be there for patients to get the necessary healthcare for their survival. We must know what is called traceability, as pharmacists should not be dispensing drugs with unapproved inscriptions or in a foreign language they cannot understand”.
The PSN President, Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa, lauded the initiatives of the pharmacists in commemorating the 2021 Scientific Week, saying it is worth the while, in publicizing the place of pharmacists in the health sector, as well as their benefits to patients’ best outcomes. He urged them to seize the opportunity to make indelible impacts in their various areas of practice, saying they need to be better representatives of the profession, in giving firsthand information on anything that affects the growth and development of the profession.
Ohuabunwa, who was represented by the PSN National Secretary, Pharm. Gbenga Falabi, hinted the Lagos pharmacists on the activities of the national body for the progress of the profession. “In celebrating World Pharmacists Day 2021, PSN is making case for the inclusion of Standard Orgnisation of Nigeria (SON); NIPRD and Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) in the newly formed Health Sector Reform Committee constituted by the Federal Government.
The Lagos State PSN Chairman, Pharm. Gbolagade Iyiola, expressed his delight with all guests and members at the occasion, saying pharmacists cannot be tired in speaking out in the health team, as no one will blow their trumpets for them if they fail to do. He noted that the scientific week is always a time to evaluate their performances so far and to re-strategise in order to attain their desired goals. ”It is not enough to celebrate World Pharmacists Day, we must see how we are doing and up our games in order to remain relevant in the health sector”.
Speaking with Pharmanewsonline at the event, the Chairman, Planning Committee, appreciated all participants and guests for gracing the occasion, noting that speakers at the programme will maximize the opportunity in giving pharmacists the necessary insights to achieve their desired goals. Though it was an herculean task to plan the programme, she acknowledged the assiduous efforts of her team members in making the occasion a success.
She hinted on the activities of the group thus: “Our week started on Tuesday, 21 September 2021, when technical and interest groups of the PSN embarked on various activities in creating awareness on the role of pharmacists in the healthcare services to the members of the public. Wednesday 23 September, was set aside to build our capacities as pharmacists through the GSK and Pfizer sponsored masterclasses that was hosted at our secretariat”.
In his vote of thanks, Secretary of the state branch, Pharm. Ismaila Kola Sunmonu, thanked all for active participation in the programme, as he seized the avenue to pray for the healing of Nigeria in all ramifications.