(By Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi)
There is nothing as successful as an idea whose time has come. Over the last one score and ten years, leaders of the pharmacy profession in Nigeria have brainstormed on strategies to achieve a turn-around towards making the profession a more fulfilling and meaningful enterprise, not only for pharmacists but also the communities in which they serve. The conclusion has become obvious. Only pharmacists can save Pharmacy, especially in a situation where Pharmacy, like every other profession is severely challenged.
We are in a knowledge-driven economy. In order for Pharmacy to participate meaningfully in the current national economic arrangement, there is an urgent need to provide a platform for creating a new paradigm to elevate the relevance of the practice of the profession at all levels, particularly in the areas of improved patient care and international best practice. That platform is the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy. This idea was also encouraged by the existence and role of similar academies in the developing and developed world.
The Academy brings together successful senior pharmacy professionals who have distinguished themselves in the corporate world, academia and public service. Every effort has been made by the organisers to ensure that the foundation Fellows of the Academy are drawn from the widest possible spread professionally, occupationally and geographically. The product may not be perfect, but it is a qualitative beginning, by any standard. It can only get better.
Pharmacy practice in Nigeria is fortunate to have an abundance of bright minds whose education and experience can be jointly and severally shared, while they are still physically with us. The Academy will, inter alia, provide expert opinion and thought leadership in the education and practice of Pharmacy. It will provide a platform to influence national and state policies which will enable the fulfilment of the vision, mission, rights and obligations of Pharmacy.
The Academy will network with similar academies within and outside Nigeria. It will also partner with relevant regulatory bodies and associations to ensure high ethical standards in the practice of the profession and in the war against fake, adulterated and substandard products in the health sector.
The Academy will equally champion the cause of interdisciplinarity, by working steadfastly to promote harmony and team spirit among all members of the health team and other relevant professions, so that every patient enjoys wholesome and beneficial health care. It will champion the cause of transformational change and innovation by encouraging industry, Research and Development and seizing the several technology advancement opportunities open to Pharmacare.
The Academy will, most importantly, concentrate on mentoring the younger generation to confidently build on the foundation being laid today and to facilitate sustainability in the areas of capacity and character building, self-confidence, solid professional reputation and efficient delivery of pharmaceutical service.
It is a new day for Pharmacy, a new day for the health sector and, indeed, a new day for our nation, Nigeria. So help us God!
Address delivered by Prince Julius A. Adelusi-Adeluyi, OFR, mni, president,Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm.), at the inauguration ceremony of NAPharm. on Thursday, 26 June, 2014, at the Sheraton Hotels & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.