The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRaza, has encouraged pharmacists in the state to continue sustaining the culture of adherence to global best practices, compliance to work and professional ethics, for which they are known, adding that his administration employed a holistic approach to tackling health sector challenges.
The governor, while speaking during the opening ceremony of this year’s Kwara State PSN Pharmacy Week, themed: “Medicine Security in An Emerging Economy: We are all involved”, held at De Peace Hotel, Tanke, Ilorin, Kwara hinted that their role and impact as a well-coordinated team is to check unwholesome practices like drug and substance abuse, fake drugs, logistic management coordination, conventional sales, promotion and dispensing of pharmaceuticals.
According to the governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr. Kayode Alabi, his administration will continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, while pharmacist’s role in the area of healthcare cannot be overemphasized, adding that he will continue to prioritize and transform the health sector of the state.
On the theme of the occasion, ‘Medicine Security in an Emerging Economy, we are all involved, the governor explained that his administration employed a holistic approach to tackling health sector challenges, saying its approach and policy thrust had favored collaboration, especially in healthcare, where teamwork counts.
“Undoubtedly, the medical practitioners will have to make an appropriate diagnosis supported by validated laboratory test results. Pharmacists will have to be on the ground to appropriately prescribe medication to the patients and maintain their vigilance in conjunction with the nurses to ensure no unwarranted reactions to the medications.
He said the recent appointment of a member of the PSN as the Executive Secretary of the Hospital Management Board called for more responsibility as a team to ensure mutual success, adding that his administration had also reviewed the salaries of health workers, including pharmacists. “Whether as public officers or in a private or corporate capacity, your contributions to the development of Kwara as a whole are well appreciated,” he added.
While speaking, the President, of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Prof. Cyril Usifoh, appealed to policymakers not to compromise in creating an enabling environment for the local pharma manufacturers to compete globally, adding that pharmaceutical industries are in dire need of policies and government support to enable them to provide appropriate medicine security for the country.
He said if adequate support is given to pharmaceutical companies in Kwara, they could provide the appropriate medicines for patients. “The last time I visited Kwara State, I was able to visit some pharmaceutical companies and I am proud to say that if adequate support is given, they would be able to deliver the appropriate medicine for the state and beyond”, he said.
In his speech, the PSN Chairman, Kwara State, Pharm. Adejuwon Otelaja, noted that India has sustained the world system by maintaining medicine security for years, saying with the economy forecasted to grow by 7 percent this year, it surpassed that of the United Kingdom making it the 5th largest in the world. “The IMF said it was the world’s largest economy a decade ago. This did not happen overnight but the preparedness and willpower of those in their system of government”
According to the PSN boss, Kwara State is fast becoming one of India’s manufacturing states, as the pharmaceutical manufacturing companies have grown from three in number to six over a decade, which has positively impacted the fiscal growth of the state, internally generated revenue and increase employment opportunity, adding that for the pharmaceutical industry to grow, the federal policy on ease of doing business must be replicated in the state.
Juwon further noted that the chaotic drug distribution in the Nigeria state has greatly contributed to drug insecurity, as the Coordinated Wholesale Centres (CWC), recommended by the National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration, and Control (NAFDAC), is yet to be fully adopted by most Nigerian states. “This has placed the drug in the wrong hands and more evidently in the hand of the abusers,” he said.
In his keynote address, Pharm. (Dr) Abdulraheem Malik, the executive secretary of Kwara State Hospital Management Board, noted that the importance of safe, effective, and affordable drugs in meeting global healthcare objectives and in building comprehensive healthcare delivery system could never be overemphasized, adding that in Nigeria, lack of political will to enforce Pharmacy laws poses a serious public health threat to everyone in the country.
He however advised that pharmacists can increase medicine security by ensuring that they source their drugs from registered wholesalers, sales representatives, assigned- distributors, or directly from the manufacturers, adding that NAFDAC registration is not enough to know fake medicines, as it takes little effort to print fake number on drugs packages these days and sneak them into the market. “Therefore, it is important we source from registered wholesalers if we are not going to source from sales representatives or distributors,” he advised.
In their goodwill messages at the program, the Olusin of Ijaraisin, Oba Julius Ajibola Ademola, and Olupako of Share, Oba Suleiman Olawale Haruna, commended the leadership of PSN in the state for changing the face of Pharmacy practice in the state.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion include Prof. Phillip Olurinola, coordinator, BOF, Kwara State; Dr. Abubakar Ayinla, permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, Kwara State; Alh. Lawal Jabaje, president, NAPMED; Prof. M.A. Akanmu, chairman, PSN, Osun State; Pharm. Bolanle Oreyemi Oshoba, chairman, PSN, Ekiti State; S. Y. Hamisu, deputy director, DSS; Dr Grace Medubi, chairperson, Planning Committee; Pharm. Bioku Rahamon, chairman, Bioraj Pharmaceuticals; Pharm. Dele Faworaja, managing director, Rajrab Pharma; Pharm. Charles Nwakile, DPS, UTH; Dr. Saad Abdullahi, dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNILORIN; Chief (Mrs) Ranti Awotuyi, of Tuyil Pharma, represented by Mrs. Eunice Bambe, among many others.