-Celebrates World Pharmacists Day 2021
As Nigerian pharmacists join the rest of the world to mark this year‘s World Pharmacists Day, an annual event celebrated every 25 September, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos State Chapter, has kick-started a free medical screening and donation of drugs to all the 14 Area Commands of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos State.
The flagging-off of the free medical screening and donation of drugs, which took place at the premises of the Area H Police Command, Ogudu, Lagos, on Monday, offered an opportunity for the ever busy officers to access free health counseling and screening of blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis among others.
Speaking at the Area H Police Command, Ogudu centre, the Chairman, ACPN, Lagos State, Pharm. Lawrence Ekhator, explained that World Pharmacists Day is commemorated to honour the contributions of pharmacists to the world, as they were at the Police Command to show the public that pharmacists are at their service always.
According to the ACPN boss, the theme of the global event “Pharmacy: Always trusted for your health”, was chosen to reflect the beneficial aspect of pharmacy practice, as well as numerous contributions of pharmacists to healthcare sector.
He said health screening is important because it has been discovered that a lot of people are coming down with chronic disease conditions and health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and other silent killer diseases as people are ignorant of their health conditions.
Explaining further, he noted that regular health examinations and tests can help detect health problems before they become complicated and sometimes untreatable.
“We are carrying out screening on non-communicable diseases which we have discovered to be the commonest in our society, and topmost among them are hypertension, diabetes, and others. We are also involved in High Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, Blood Glucose, and we are going a step further to screen for Hepatitis, as we know it has become one of the banes of healthcare in Nigeria”, the chairman stated.
Also speaking with Pharmanewsonline, Pharm. Benjamin Onuchukwu, zonal coordinator, Alapere, Ikosi, Iseri, Ketu, Ojota, Magodo (AIIKOM Zone) of ACPN, explained that the free medical screening and awareness was organised by the ACPN as part of the association’s contribution to improving public healthcare, saying that was the second time the ACPN would be visiting the Command for such gesture.
Onuchukwu, however, dismissed the insinuation of a frosty relationship between the men of the Nigeria Police Force and the community pharmacists in the zone, saying since he took over as the coordinator of the zone, the relationship has been cordial.
While thanking ACPN for the laudable programme, ACP Tunde Adeniran, Area Commander, Area H Police Command, Ogudu, Lagos State, said he was delighted that an association like ACPN could come to their police station with such a beneficial programme.
He also debunked the rumour of a frosty relationship with the healthcare providers, adding that the Nigeria Police Force, under the leadership of the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Akeem Odumosu, has been mandated to maintain a good relationship with major stakeholders in the state.
He however appealed to the healthcare providers to report any form of drug abuse or fake drug case to the police for proper action, adding that the police and pharmacists could work together to rid the society of fake and counterfeit medicine.
While speaking with Pharmanewsonline, Pharm. Robert Ikwudimso, noted that the major health challenge that was common among the people screened was hypertension, noting that lifestyle modification and proper exercise coupled with a stress-free lifestyle is needed to checkmate the health challenges.
“World Pharmacists Day was the brainchild of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), with the FIP council voting to establish the event in the late 2000s during a conference they staged in Istanbul, Turkey. The aim of the day is to bring attention to pharmacies and the positive benefits they offer when it comes to health, and FIP encourages all its members to get involved to make the event a success”, he stated.