-Conduct Free Medical Screening for Agege Residents
Members of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) Lagos State branch, have taken the campaign against drug abuse and misuse to the Olu of Agege’s Palace, as a way of celebrating AHAPN Day in the 2018 Lagos Pharmacy Week.
The AHAPN Day celebration, which has been described as a -three-in-one drug abuse awareness campaign, commenced with a walk against drug abuse and misuse, from the Agege Main Market, to the Oba Kamila Akanni Isiba’s Palace, then back to the market, where free medical screening were conducted for the traders, along various health talks given to them by the pharmacists.
While receiving the pharmacists in his palace, Oba Isiba appreciated their good gestures in bringing the health awareness advocacy to his domain, which enlightens his people on the dangers of drug abuse and why they must reject it in it’s various forms.
Oba Isiba however expressed concerns over the unregulated sales of drugs, especially by the Hausas in the community, explaining how drugs purchased from these people in time past have led to the death of their customers.
“Of particular interest was the incidence that happened a couple of weeks ago, when a lady bought a drug from a mallam in this area, and not long after taking the drug, she died, and the report was brought here to my palace”, he said.
The traditional ruler therefore called on regulatory agencies like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) to intensify enforcement in the area, in order to reduce incidents of drug abuse in Agege community.
In response, the Lagos State AHAPN Chairperson, Mrs Folashade Kotun told the Agege monarch that that was the main reason for their visit to the community, to alert residents against the dangers of drug abuse, and why they should desist from patronising unregistered premises for the purchase of drugs.
Aside from patronising unregistered premises, she also condemned a common practice of self-medication or drug prescription by friends, where neighbours prescribe drugs for one another, based on the therapeutic effects of the drug on the first person to use it, saying this is totally wrong for anyone to engage in, as the users could easily become dependent on such drugs.
The NAFDAC representative, Pharm. (Mrs) C. Anyanwu, also assured the monarch that NAFDAC will do her best in raiding the area, in order to reduce the activities of illegal drug distributors in the community.
Speaking on the outcome of the campaign, Mrs Kotun stressed the need for pharmacists to continue in the advocacy, saying, “ We should keep on advocating, counseling, creating awareness in every setting we find ourselves against drug abuse and misuse, dangers involved in drug abuse now and even in our future health.
“Especially amongst our youths, we have to let them know the dangers of self-medication like tramadol, codeine and other substances that they are taking into their bodies. We should continue to create awareness wherever we find ourselves be it in community practice, be it in the office, be it in administrative settings, be it in the hospital, be it in the industry, and be it in the academia”, she asserted.
On the choice of Agege community for the enlightenment campaign, the Vice Chairperson, Lagos AHAPN, Pharm.(Mrs) Funmi Fagboro said the area is known for drug abuse and majorly because a lot of Hausas living in the community are notorious with the use of drugs.”So we are here to tell them the dangers of abusing drugs and to persuade them to desist from doing such”.