– As EKO 2023 Kicks Off in Lagos
Pharmacists under the aegis of Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) have expressed their displeasure to the absence of pharmacists in the newly inaugurated cabinet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as they insisted that druggists must be well represented in the Boards of the Federal Teaching Hospitals when the time is ripe.
They made the submission at the commencement of the 24th Annual Scientific Conference of the association in Lagos, which will run from 21 to 25 August, 2023, at the Welcome Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.
National Chairman, AHAPN, Pharm. (Dr) Olabode Ogunjemiyo, appealed to Mr President to ensure that pharmacists are not left behind in his administration, as he decried the absence of pharmacists in his newly selected cabinet members, saying “not even one pharmacist” was represented.
Speaking on the theme of the conference which is “Medicine Insecurity: A major threat to Public Health”, he said it was carefully chosen to reflect the reality of the times. He acknowledged the important roles medicines play in the detection, prevention and treatment of diseases among the populace, wondering how the world would look like without medicines.
In order to guarantee the health of the nation, he noted that medicine security must be of essence. “However, what we see happening is the non- availability of essential medicines in our health institutions for avoidable reasons.
“This conference seeks to look at the challenges with medicine security and proffer solutions to them”, he stated.
Ogunjemiyo also condemned the inefficiency of the Drug Revolving Fund (DRF) system in most Federal health institutions due to the mismanagement through outright pillaging of its capital with a consequence of stock-outs and unavailability of essential medicines needed for preventing and curing diseases most commonly suffered by Nigerians.
Drug Revolving Fund (DRF), adopted in 1990 by the Government in Nigeria, is a very effective strategy for ensuring uninterrupted drug supply in healthcare delivery. However, problems with its sustainability and management have not permitted a full realization of the expected benefits.
He thus urged President Tinubu to strengthen the health sector through a review and amendment of the obsolete University Teaching Hospital (reconstitution of boards) Decree 10 of 1985 (now Act cap U. 15 LFN) which seeded the headship of health institutions to medical practitioners only to reflect the new paradigm shift in healthcare sector.
“We strongly submit that this remains the only remedy to several cases of mismanagement which affects the healthcare space in Nigeria”, he maintained.
He highlighted programmes that have been lined-up for the days of the conference as follows: Monday, 21 August, will feature, press briefing, health outreach, courtesy visit to his Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, courtesy visit to Oba of Isolo, health walk, and welcome cocktail. While Tuesday, 22 August, will be for plenary session, opening ceremony, separate forums for COMFPHI and State DPS ‘s, and AHAPN National Council meeting. Then, Wednesday, 23, August, is the day for group dynamics, oral presentation, poster presentation, AGM, gala/awards/closing banquet, and Thursday is for departure.