The President, Nigeria Association of Foreign Trained Pharmacists (NAFTraPh) Dr John Ejezie, at the weekend honoured the Publisher of Pharmanews, Pharm.(Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, as well as the Chief Executive Officer of the Business School Netherlands International, Nigeria, Professor Lere Baale with Awards of Excellence for their meritorious contributions to the advancement of the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry.
Other recipients of award at the 5th Annual International Conference of the association held at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, were the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa; CEO of the Africa Resource Centre for Excellence in Supply Chain, Pharm. Azuka Okeke; Medical Director & Chief of Service, Hendricks Family Heart Hospital, USA, Dr Leo Egbujiobi; Scientist and Regulatory Affairs Consultant, Ohio, USA, Dr Funmilayo O. Ajayi.
The conference themed “Social determinant of health and population health outcome in a developing economy: Nigeria’s perspective”, had Dr Terrance Baker, John Hopkins Physician as keynote speaker.
In his remark at the event, the Registrar, Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, Pharm. Ahmed Babashehu, who was ably represented by the Director, Lagos Zonal office, Dr Taiwo Filusi, said the council will always make regulation to be conducive for those who are ready to practice ethically in the country.
Dr Dabiri-Erewa, who was represented by Mr Dipo Odebowale commended NAFTraPh for its innovative efforts over the years. She promised that the commission will continue to partner with associations like NAFTraPh to positively reposition the country at the global scene.
In his keynote address, Dr Baker described the social determinants of health as the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
The social determinants of health, according to the doctor include safe housing, transportation, education, employment, income, access to water, language, literacy level, nutrition, and general infrastructure.
He stated that Nigeria has the potentials to be a great nation. According to him, the medical and pharmacy practice in America and Europe will be incomplete without Nigerians, adding that Nigeria has been positioned as the workforce of the world, hence the country holds the key to the future.
The John Hopkins Physician therefore called on the Nigerian government to put measures in place that will enhance the development of the country. He also charged the government to pay special attention to the major health determinants of its citizens and work hard to ensure that there are improved health outcome for all citizens.
To achieve a better health outcome for the citizens, Dr Baker called for the entrenchment of rule of law in the country. Other recommendations that will enhance improved health outcomes for the Nigerian population, according to the speaker, include state-sponsored employment opportunities and state-sponsored wellness programmes such as national health insurance for all Nigerians, among others.
Baker also charged the Nigerian government to put in place a better energy initiative that will enhance a decrease in the cost of electricity. To ensure adequate food availability for the citizens, the John Hopkins Physician called for a concerted effort on farming, noting that quality and good nutrition is a major determinants of health.
While speaking on one of the sub- themes of the conference, “Nutrition, fetal origin of diseases, and population outcomes”, the Founder/CEO Carib Health Limited and clinical nutrition consultant, Mrs Sherese Ijewere, pointed out that the first nine months of existence of every being, which is during pregnancy can shape the entire person’s life.
According to her, many ailments that many people are battling with today have origin at the early stage of formation in the womb. She however said the DNA is not the destiny of any human, noting that every human being has the fetal live (while in the womb) and the rest of life after birth to live.
She noted that undernutrition in the womb during middle to late pregnancy can cause improper fetal growth, which in return can cause predisposition to certain diseases in adulthood. In view of this, she called for consumption of good nutrition before and during pregnancy.
Mrs Ijewere said “Consuming an adequate diet which consist of balance diet prior to conception is vital for a healthy fetus and future health outcome of every individual. It is said that we are what we eat, therefore, it is important for male and female to eat more natural foods and avoid as much as possible refined sugar, fat and ultra-processed foods. The food we eat impact our gene either positively or negatively which can change the health outcome of generations to come”.