It was a day of to remember, as the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), University of Ibadan Chapter, hosted youngsters from neighbouring secondary schools to a symposium tagged “Wetin Pharmacists Dey Do Sef?”
The event which was aimed at sensitising secondary school students on the importance of pharmacists and the pharmacy profession was one of the programmes featured in the 2015/2016 PANS Week
Speaking on the importance of pharmacists, Pharm. Niyi Aje, a lecturer in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy of the Faculty of Pharmacy, UI, described a pharmacist as a “health care professional who is trained and licensed to manufacture, distribute and dispense drugs and to advise patients on the use of drug”, adding that a pharmacist is “a professional who knows something about everything and everything about something. He possesses diversified skills and gets involved in decisions to improve the health of patients.”
Corroborating the first speaker, Pharm. Thomas of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UI, corrected the misconception that the role of the pharmacist is to dispense drugs prescribed by doctors. He stressed that “pharmacists do not just dispense, they also identify, isolate and synthesise drugs”.
He encouraged the youngsters to study Pharmacy so as to fill the void damagingly occupied by quacks and profiteers. He cited “high demand and rewarding job opportunities” as inducement to the profession.
Chairman of the symposium, Pharm. Lekan Fashesin who is also the Grand Patron of PANS UI, rejoiced with the young students on being privileged to know about the pharmacy profession that early. While encouraging the youngsters, he advised that they should have a passion for what they do and also seek to match their temperament to their chosen profession.
The students were not left out in the discussion as they were given opportunities to air their views and ask questions where necessary. Present at the Reacting to some of the opinions of the youngsters, Sub-Dean (Undergraduate) of the Faculty of Pharmacy, UI, Dr Dapo Adetunji, he noted that “thinking Pharmacy is an alternative to Medicine is a gross error”.
Also lending his voice to the discussion, PANS UI President, Mr Elijah Ajiga, asserted that pharmacists are “dynamic people” and “partners in health”.