It was a time of wining and dining on Thursday at the Pharmanews corporate head office, as the management and staff assembled to celebrate Pharm. Frank Eze, winner, Young Pharmacist of the Year 2019 Online Poll, with a presentation of N100,000 cheque and an award plaque.
The Pharmanews Young Pharmacist of the Year Online Contest was established in 2018, with Pharm. Isah Muhammad emerging as the first winner, while Eze is the winner of the 2019 edition, recently concluded in February 2020.
Appreciating Eze and his friends for coming over for the celebration, Managing Director, Pharmanews Ltd, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi expressed his great delight in meeting the winner for the first time, and also congratulated him for emerging the winner of the very tough contest.
He explained the objective of the online poll was to discover innovation and service delivery among young pharmacists in Nigeria, and to encourage them to expand their reach towards improving healthcare provision in the country.
He said: “We started with the Young Pharmacist of the Year, then PANSite of the Year, and now we shall be introducing a new category this year, which is the Outstanding Pharmacist of the Year. This will cover pharmacists from ages 36 to 65, and it is going to be a very keen competition because it has a broad spectrum, to accommodate a large group of pharmacists.
“The goal is to identify and encourage pharmacists who have been recognised within the profession and outside the profession as people of good character, with integrity. We want to recognise people who provide service to the populace because you are known by the service you provide. We also want to identify people with initiative, who on their own think out something unique, because we believe that it is what God has put in you that will make you great”.
The Pharmanews boss described the last contest as a very keen competition which generated interest locally and internationally, as he received calls from outside the country, when there was an attempt to extend the closing date of the poll, due to complaints from some quarters.
He therefore charged Eze to live up to the expectations of his numerous voters, who reposed their confidence in him by giving him their votes. He also noted that being the winner of the prestigious award requires him to improve in all levels of his operation, so that Pharmanews can be proud of him.
His words:”It is our expectation that the winner of this award, should be somebody who is well respected in the society, and the mere fact that he has won this award will make him to sit up, so that we can be proud of the person and the person can be proud of himself or herself, and Pharmanews.
“If you say you are the winner of Pharmanews Award, people should respect you, they should not find you doing questionable things that will make them ask, ‘is that not the winner of Pharmanews Award? Through the open voting system, majority have voted you as the winner, so we congratulate you for the award, and believe that you will bear Pharmanews in mind and continue to promote us, because people promote organisations”, he stated.
Receiving the award plaque and the cheque of N100,000, an excited Eze promised not to disappoint the confidence reposed on him by his voters, and also not to let down Pharmanews expectations for him.
Eze, who dedicated the award to his organisation “Rethink Initiative”, said it was a big honour, which he had long dreamt about, and appreciated the management of Pharmanews Ltd for making his dream come true sooner than he expected.
“Today is a big honour not just to me, but for Rethink Initiative, its being a long way coming, because we have being dreaming of such a day, but we didn’t know that it is going to come so soon. Pharmanews has made it to come so soon, and just like our daddy said, it means that we are going to buckle up, we have to ensure that we become more responsible in what we are doing, towards achieving the objective of the organisation.
“I also want to thank every young pharmacists who have voted us, the Rethink initiative, and I have to tell them that we will not disappoint the confidence they have reposed in us. This award also means that Pharmanews is really concerned that Pharmacy profession in Nigeria is greatly improved. The ultimate is to ensure that quality of lives of the people is improved, which is one of the objective of Rethink Initiative. So it’s an alignment, and being a recipient of this award means that I’m now an ambassador of Pharmanews, so wherever I go, and whatever I do, I must always ensure that I’m found on the positive end not negative.
“It means that whatever I do now that is on the negative, is not only to my detriment, it will also affect the image of Pharmanews. That means I’m going to live up to expectation. The online poll made me realise that young pharmacists are really interested in improving the health of the people, and that was why they had to vote for Rethink Initiative, especially, as it is something that is targeted at improving the health of the populace.
“Our aim is to improve literacy of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in Nigeria, as we believe that towards the Sustainable Development Goal, that is, goal three, good health and well being for all ages, the prerequisite is literacy”, he disclosed.
He further stated that health advocacy empowers people to know their health status, which in turns enables them plan their lifestyle accordingly to avoid diseases.
when you are aware of your numbers, you are aware that diabetes is real and hypertension is real, then you know that your health is in your hands, then you take the necessary steps to watch what you eat, watch your lifestyle, and ensure you prevent yourself from coming down with these diseases.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Editor, Pharmanews Ltd, Mr Yusuff Moshood also congratulated Eze, and urged him to seek means in improving on his initiative, as that was one of the factors that saw him through the contest as the winner.
The Online Editor, Pharmanews Ltd, Mrs Temitope Obayendo, mentioned the need for Eze and his team members to increase their activities on social media as that will help project their initiative the more.