The Governor of Kwara State, Gov Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; Prof. Cyril Usifoh, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Dr Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, executive secretary, Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, and others have charged pharmacists in Kwara State not to relent in their efforts towards the provision of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to the people of the state, adding that a healthy state is a wealthy state.
The governor, while speaking during a courtesy call to his office in Ilorin by the pharmacists in the state, led by the number one pharmacist in the country, Prof. Usifoh, in the company of his wife, Dr (Mrs) Stella Usifoh, and Pharm. Adejuwon Otelaja led PSN Kwara State executive committee, noted that the role of pharmacists in society is very crucial, saying he has a soft spot for the pharmacists in the state.
According to the governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi, his administration has continued to provide an enabling environment for pharmaceutical activities to thrive, adding that his office is widely open to them whenever they feel like coming around to discuss how to better improve the healthcare delivery in the state.
Also speaking, the PSN President, Prof. Cyril who said he was happy to meet a well-grounded and dependable PSN chairman in Kwara State, as well as a wonderful crop of executive members, noted that he has no regret visiting the state as his first official assignment after the inauguration, adding that in the last 3 days he has been in the state, the reception, as well as a retinue of programmes, have been top-notch.
“Your excellency, I must commend you for having the love of the pharmacy profession at heart and for creating an enabling environment for our people to operate. I must also commend the leadership of Kwara PSN, for the unity and peaceful co-existence the practitioners in the state are enjoying. I have observed that the practitioners here are united in pursuit of a common goal, and do things together as a family.
He continued, “As much as the state government is doing its best in the area of healthcare delivery, PSN as the umbrella body of all pharmacists in the country would want you to address the issue of medicine security, drug faking and counterfeiting, hawking of drugs, inadequate electricity, high cost of living, as well as other professional challenges facing our people for the good of Nigerians, while we assure you of our willingness to work with your government, give expert advice when needed and contribute our quota to the development of healthcare in the state.
Speaking in the same vein, Dr Jetawo-Winter, executive secretary, Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, and Pharm. (Mrs) Olubunmi Okeowo, former deputy president, PSN, appreciated the Kwara State government for running a pharmacy-friendly administration and giving listening ear to their agitations, adding that with the recent developments in the state, he has justified the faith the people had in his government.
Speaking earlier, Pharm. Adejuwon Otelaja, chairman, PSN Kwara State, appreciated the proactive steps of the governor at solving every challenge facing the practitioners in the state, saying he is happy that the government is partnering with PSN to ensure that the state becomes one of the few states in the country that has pharmacists in all its local governments.
Speaking further, Otelaja said the visit to the state government office was part of the programmes lined up for the 3-Day working visit of the PSN President, Prof Cyril Usifoh to the state, adding that he had visited other places, including the Palace of Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari; the office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, as well as Tuyil Pharmaceuticals Limited, and Bioraj Pharmaceutical Limited.
According to the PSN helmsman in Kwara State, the PSN president also came to the state to grace and be the special guest of honour at the second edition of Kwara Pharmacademy, an educational and capacity development programme to equip Kwara pharmacists and to improve their capacity for the challenges ahead.
He added, “Kwara Pharmacademy was one of the initiatives that we introduced at the inception of my administration. I believe that without information and capacity building, we cannot function well, as you cannot give what you don’t have. Pharmacists are looking at becoming specialists, providing information, preventing medication error, helping in solving problems in the community, and we believe that there is a lot of deficiency which we need to cover, and that is why we are bringing a lot of information and training in community, academic, industry, and hospital, even business because our people need to learn.
Speaking on the pharmacy consultant cadre which has been approved by the Kwara State Government, Pharm. Otelaja, commended the government for taking the bull by the horn, adding that the PSN is assured that the state government has the political will to implement it to the letter. “We are happy and we appreciate them, however, it is not only about the approval, the onus now lies on us to train pharmacists to become consultants, because if we have consultancy cadre approval and there are no pharmacists to become consultants, of what use is the approval?
“It’s like an exercise in futility, and that’s one of the reasons for having the Kwara Pharmacademy programme, by putting structure in place that would help to develop the capacity of pharmacists across the state. Also, based on my promises at the inception that I was going to work for the good of pharmacists in Kwara State, we are going to make an impact in all our communities and the state and I believe we are doing that to the best of our ability.”
The high point of the event was the official commissioning of the Drug Information Centre (DIC), donated to Kwara State General Hospital, by Oba (Pharm) Ajibola Ademola Julius, the Olusin of Ijara-Isin, an initiative of the PSN, Kwara State, which was commissioned by the Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi and Prof Cyril Usifoh, president, PSN.