Consultant cardiologist, pharmacist and specialist at Beloit Memorial Hospital, Wisconsin, United States, Dr Leo Egbujiobi, has disclosed plans to set up annual scholarship grant/awards of excellence to be funded by his foundation, as part of his support to the Nigerian pharmacy education landscape. The project is to commence from next year, 2024.
Egbujiobi made this disclosure in an exclusive interview with Pharmanewsonline, at the just concluded 17th Annual Scientific Conference of the National Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) held in Colombus Ohio, USA, recently.
“Every year, the Egbujiobi family will donate a thousand dollars for a pharmacy scientific student in honour of Prof. Adeboye Adejare and another thousand dollars in honour of Dr Teresa Pounds for a pharmacist doing clinical training. The people working for my interest will legally build it as a foundation because it has to be funded by me,” he said.
Expatiating on the awards, Egbujiobi, who is regarded as one of the best cardiologists in the United States, said about the funding: “It has nothing to do with NAPPSA finances. The process starts from next year. My people will work with the scholarship committee in deciding who qualifies. So, the certificate will be Prof. Adejare Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Science funded by Egbujiobi. The other one will be Dr Teresa Pounds Award for Excellence in Clinical Pharmacy Training.
Commending the contributions of NAPPSA to the development of the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, Egbujiobi, who also served as NAPPSA President from 2017 to 2019, said no nation of the world has ever achieved notable development without the support of its diaspora community.
“In the history of the world, there is no country that develops without the involvement of the diaspora. It took the American Jewish Congress for the Jews to be solid. Look at Northern Ireland. It took the Irish Americans, the Indians and the Chinese who came to America for training to go home,” he said.
On how Nigeria can get it right in terms of sustaining the culture of knowledge transfer for development, Egbujiobi believes that Nigerian leaders must surround themselves with capable and dedicated people who can drive the kind of transformational change the country requires.
“Whatever we do here in the diaspora, if we are not able to transfer the skill, the knowledge and the education, then, we have not achieved anything,” he said.
Egbujiobi called on NAPPSA members to continue supporting the association and emphasised the significance of knowledge sharing and his commitment towards the success of NAPPSA.
“Knowledge not shared is knowledge lost. We should continue to come for NAPPSA. I have no other article for sale except knowledge. I am one of the founding members of NAPPSA from day one. Any success for NAPPSA is good news to me because that has been the dream since 2006,” he added.