New courses needed to meet emerging challenges – Prof. Osazuwa


For faculties of pharmacy in Nigerian universities to meet emerging health challenges in the country, and the world at large, the introduction of relevant courses like Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Drug Logistics Studies, Pharmaceutical Gerontology and Geriatric Drug Studies is inevitable, Professor Emmanuel O. Osazuwa, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin (UNIBEN) has said.

The dean, who spoke to Pharmanews in an exclusive interview, hinted on the ongoing curriculum review in his faculty, and efforts being made at introducing relevant courses, which will enhance the faculty and other pharmacy schools meet emerging health challenges.

“In fact, a review of our curriculum is going on presently. Here in Benin, efforts are being made to introduce new but relevant courses such as Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Drug Logistics Studies, Pharmaceutical Gerontology and Geriatric Drug Studies. These courses are inevitable, if we are to meet emerging health challenges.”

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The don, who submitted that the courses are well structured in the curriculum, however stated that it is imperative to review it from time to time, in order to keep up with new trends in the profession.

Having trained abroad and one who has been teaching pharmacy students in Nigeria for the past three decades, he asserted that pharmacy students are more stressed in Nigeria by the work-load than those trained in England. “Our curriculum is overloaded but can be excused by our peculiarities and level of development.”

Speaking on the progress made so far in the faculty, since he took over the leadership, he said numerous achievements have been recorded, so far. Some of the achievements listed include: the possession of a purpose built faculty building, provision of a borehole (which was donated to the faculty by his humble self), prompt availability of examination results,  reduction in  examination malpractices, decrease in  failure rates at the faculty examinations, improvement in staff strength, renovation of laboratories, among others.

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Asked about the faculty’s role in teaching the students ethics, he noted that the faculty has been encouraging good ethics, discipline and good moral character among students, to the extent that a student cannot graduate, if found wanting in learning and character. “The majority of our graduates are well behaved. It is only natural to expect a few bad eggs in the population.”

To all students of pharmacy, the don advised them to work hard at their studies, in order to graduate as pharmacists, as and when due. He also urged all pharmacists to embark on good pharmacy practice, as well as embrace the new trend of patient care and update knowledge, as often as possible.

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On his choice of pharmacy as a career, he revealed that he was fascinated early in life by the ability of pharmacists to produce drugs, medicines, remedies etc. from natural or artificial sources. It is amazing what knowledge pharmacists have of live-saving drugs.

Speaking on his academic attainment, he said he was trained at the  Edo College, Benin City, the University of Ife (now OAU), Ile-Ife and the University of Manchester, England, where he bagged B. Pharm, M.Sc and Ph D degrees.  “Before now, I held several faculty and university positions, including assistant dean; faculty examinations officer; faculty admissions officer; member of several faculty and university committees; chairman, Pharmacy Students Disciplinary Committee; chairman, Post University Matriculation Examination (PUME) and others.”



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