In this exclusive interview with Temitope Obayendo, Pharm (Dr) Kingsley Amibor, immediate past national chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), reveals how he is going to tackle the challenge of inter-professional rivalry in the healthcare sector, if elected unofficial member of the PSN executive committee, in the forthcoming elections. He also discloses how he will deploy his wealth of experience to assist the new National Executive Committee (NEC) in achieving its objectives. Below is the full text of the interview:
You recently completed your tenure as AHAPN national chairman and you are again vying for the PSN ex-officio post. What informed this decision?
Of a truth, I completed my tenure as national chairman of AHAPN a short while ago. That office afforded me the opportunity of interfacing with government on behalf of hospital and administrative pharmacists. My sole reason for wishing to contest for this new office is to bring the experience I have garnered in the last three years to bear in the incoming PSN National Executive Committee.
The new executives will benefit from the experience some of us have acquired over the years, such that we shall hit the ground running, a kind of continuation from where the current NEC will stop. Besides, my passion in serving the pharmacy profession did not start today; it dates back to my university days, when I served the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), UNIBEN Branch, with utmost passion and dedication. And that earned me my first award for meritorious service from a pharmacy group.
The zeal and passion to serve Pharmacy has continued to this day, and has seen me serve the PSN technical arms and branches in various capacities. In AHAPN for example, I rose through the ranks from being chairman of the Federal Medical Centre Asaba Chapter, to being vice-chairman for Delta State and, later, chairman of the entire state; and then to national vice-chairman and, ultimately, national chairman. I equally served PSN Delta State as assistant secretary, before serving as a member of the PSN National Executive Committee (NEC) and Council, in addition to several other committees of the Society and technical arms.
In all of these positions, I discharged my duties with utmost passion and due diligence and it is not a surprise that I was decorated with several awards from the various bodies I served, as a testimony to my commitment, dedication and zeal. Suffice it to say that for each body or group that I served, I always left them better off than when I met them. This is the driving force behind my decision to vie for the office of PSN national unofficial member, which is simply anchored on adding value to PSN and assisting in building the PSN of our collective dreams.
As a contestant for the PSN unofficial member position, what do you intend to achieve if elected?
You see, it is not just enough to occupy an elective office, the bottom line is, what value is the occupant bringing or adding to that office? I have been a member of PSN NEC by virtue of my office as national chairman of AHAPN. I contributed to the dynamism, good governance and achievements of the current NEC. I am fully conversant with the operations of NEC and as such will be of immense value to the forthcoming NEC, since I will be a ready source of information and advice on matters relating to the government, the healthcare sector, and hospital practice, and so on.
Additionally, I have had the rare opportunity of practising in the industrial sector for over ten years, rising to top management positions and ultimately becoming a member of the prestigious Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN). This afforded me the opportunity of appreciating the challenges of the manufacturing sector first-hand. So, when matters concerning the industrial sector are discussed at NEC, I will be available to render advice from a practical point of view, and not just textbook knowledge.
When it comes to the academic sector, I am very passionate about research. To date, I have published several articles, including original research articles in local and peer review journals across the world, which is not a mean feat.
I am also a pharmaceutical journalist, having founded and sustained journals for AHAPN in every chapter that I have been privileged to serve, including being pioneer editor-in-chief of the various journals at inception. And of course when it comes to community practice, I have had the privilege of serving as locum pharmacist to several community pharmacies in this country.
So, from whatever angle you may want to view it, I am not a stranger to any arm of pharmacy practice. I have received adequate training and experience for leadership in Pharmacy, not just as unofficial member. As unofficial member, I will collaborate with the president and other NEC members to ensure that the aims and objectives of the PSN are fulfilled.
The unhealthy rivalry among health professionals has been a major challenge for some time now. The view that the medics are always trying to lord it over other practitioners in the health sector is especially widespread among pharmacists. How would you address this issue and facilitate the much needed inter-professional collaboration?
Your question is very apt considering the unhealthy rivalry in the healthcare sector of today. Don’t forget that the PSN already has a committee on inter and intra professional harmony relations in the health sector. I also mentioned earlier that I served as one of the PSN representatives on the Federal Government Committee on harmony in the healthcare sector.
So, if elected into office, I will collaborate with the president and other NEC members and work towards attaining peace and harmony in the healthcare sector, while ensuring that Pharmacy is given its rightful place as a frontline health profession.