-As Esther Chibundo emerges best graduating student
The Faculty of Pharmacy, Niger Delta University (NDU), Bayelsa State, recently graduated 78 pharmacists, with Pharm. Esther Chibundo, emerging overall best graduating student.
Additionally, the 2020/2021 class of graduands were inducted into the Pharmacy profession by the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Elijah Mohamed, who led them through the oath-taking ceremony.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Head, Education and Training of PCN, Dr Anthony Idoko, urged the new inductees to uphold the tenets of the Pharmacy profession, adding that they must distinguish themselves and make impact in any area of practice they decide to pursue.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Samuel G. Edomieukumo, charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the university, stressing that they must always be at their best in their subsequent endeavours.
Speaking on the theme of the graduation/induction ceremony, “The Pharmacist As a Specialist in Contemporary Patient Care”, the keynote speaker, a senior pharmacist at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Dr Timipre Okeroghene Aghogho, noted that in the present era of rapid change in healthcare delivery, the pharmacy profession is experiencing significant growth and development, noting that the profession has evolved from being drug-focused to being patient-focused over the years.
Aghogho added that, to match up, the role of today’s pharmacist has been expanded to include pharmaceutical care concepts, making the pharmacist a healthcare professional, rather than a drug seller in a commercial enterprise; and collaborating with other health professionals to enhance quality of life, through improved health for people locally and in the global community.
According to her, “The advancement in the role of pharmacists calls for them to be at the forefront of health education on disease state and part of the broader healthcare team, working towards providing better healthcare for patients, thus contributing in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”
The keynote speaker also urged the young pharmacists to be innovative, as they begin to do exploits in the pharmaceutical industry, stressing that only innovations will bring their expertise to the fore in healthcare delivery.
She enthused: “Dear newly inducted pharmacists, you have a lot to do as you join the train of innovative pharmacists in patient care management. No matter the branch of pharmacy you choose to go – industrial pharmacy, regulatory pharmacy, academic pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy, home care pharmacy, or consulting pharmacy, be ready to start building yourself from internship. You can start with low hanging fruits-areas of needs (medication-reconciliation-drug information).
“Remember, working together with other healthcare providers to deliver comprehensive patient care is the primary goal to provide high-quality patient care. I wish you well in life beyond pharmacy practice because I know that for you to excel in the office, your home front must be covered. Try and marry right; hook up with someone whose value aligns with yours; otherwise you will come into the office a sad person every day and it will affect not only your productivity but will give off negative vibes around you. Strive and be that person people want on their team.”
In his remarks at the ceremony, Dean of the faculty, Professor Benjamin U. Ebeshi, charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the faculty and the institution school wherever they find themselves.
The dean said, “With immense pride, I congratulate my dear graduating students of the class of 2020/2021 on a victory well won. You completed pharmacy school during a global pandemic. No doubt your life may have been impacted negatively. However, despite these challenges, you toiled and worked very hard to make today a reality. I can’t be prouder.
“I wish you continued success and happiness in all you do. Your accomplishments are even more impressive as you are transitioning into the noble profession of Pharmacy. Invariably, the nobility of a profession resides in the practitioners and, therefore, you must uphold the norms and the ethics of pharmacy profession. I believe you will make competent, empathetic and trusted pharmacists. On behalf of all the HODs and staff, we all look forward to hearing of your future wonderful accomplishments.”
In a related development, the university was announced to have started the construction of a drug manufacturing and quality control laboratory for the pharmacy faculty, which is expected to complement the faculty’s recent upgrade of its facilities at the Pharmaceutical Technology Laboratory.
The dean stated the commitment of the faculty to completing the project in no distant time.
“I want to assure the vice-chancellor and our distinguished guests that the faculty is fully committed to its ideal of promoting pharmaceutical research through design and innovations. We therefore welcome partnership and collaborations with individuals and organisations,” Ebeshi said.
The dean also revealed that the faculty was working tirelessly to ensure full commencement of PharmD programme, as soon as possible.
According to him, “The faculty, with the support of the management, is putting modalities in place for the smooth transition from the Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) programme to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) programme.
“The faculty is very hopeful that the management will soon facilitate the verification of its resources by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the full commencement of the Pharm. D programme. We are very hopeful, going forward, that this will be achieved without further delay.”