– As ACPN Ikeja organise business seminar
Wellness experts have called on community pharmacists, being the closest to the people to prioritise wellness and nutrition issues in order to improve prevention rate of chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, depression, dementia, liver disease, cancer, asthma, allergies, and many others.
They made the call at a special monthly meeting of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Ikeja Zone, held at the ACPN National Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos.
Dr Patrick Ijewere, founder and chief executive officer, of the Nutrition Hospital and Wellness Centre, noted that wellness is a gift from our creator to each one of us, adding that when illness occurs, we must ask ourselves what we have done to drift away from our gift of wellness.
According to him, aside from selling and counselling patients on medication and its usage, there is a need for community pharmacists to go the extra mile in creating awareness about nutrition and healthy lifestyle to them, adding that today, many healthcare practitioners no longer care about their patients’ history, genetics and lifestyles, forgetting that nutrition, lifestyle, mindset and even the environment contribute a lot to their wellbeing.
“As humans, we need a perfectly working system, but in cases where we see the system not working perfectly, we have to look at the five killers of wellness, which are spirituality, mindset, nutrition, lifestyle and the environment, so the essence of this presentation is to look at wellness as our birthright. So, when ailment shows up, we need to look at where we have deviated from the norms, it could be wrong food, bad environment, malnutrition, negative mindset, poor lifestyle and others”, he said.
He continued, “There is always a price to pay for health and wellness, either you pay it upfront with healthier choices and wellness behaviour or pay it later when the disease shows up or it worsens, so guess which costs a lot more. Also, the further one strays away from mother-nature, the sooner she says, return to the sender”.
Also speaking, Kolawole Jebutu of Surehealth Systems noted that the lecture was very apt because pharmacists need to see and treat a lot of customers that have to do with illnesses that deal with lifestyles, and by encouraging them to go natural, to add natural ways of curing or managing their illnesses, the better for them as it will allow the medication to work better.
Speaking further, he said, “eating well is the best thing one can do to the body, and I always equate our body to a lovely beautiful car. Still, the wellness of the car is dependent on the oil, water, fuel and other things to maintain it, so our body is as good as the food we eat. We try to encourage people to eat balanced diet, a lot of vegetables and fruits, as we all as water. We also encourage that toxins should be taken out of the food we eat, which is one of the things we do at Surehealth”.
In her speech, Pharm. (Mrs) Vivian Ibeh, zonal coordinator, Ikeja Zone of ACPN, explained that the lectures by the nutritionists were timely and apt, adding that nutrition has a role it plays in the human body. So, as community pharmacists, we are not just drug experts, but we are also custodians of information, so it would be very bad if we as health information custodians do not have adequate information about what food does to the human body.
“The nutrition lecture we have adopted has to do with preventive health, so we recognised that it will go a long way in helping our clients to protect themselves from diseases by embracing the use of healthy food. We are basically here to give more strength and knowledge to ourselves, and at the same time help our clients.
“Ikeja ACPN is gaining momentum from its moribund state to a state where we are more aware and deliberate about our actions and activities. We are there for the world to see, impact them, sensitise them and advise them on the lifestyle that is beneficial to them. Everything that will benefit the human body to live well, we are there”, she said.
Speaking in the same vein, one of the elders in the profession and a stakeholder, Pharm. (Mrs) Foluke Akinniranye, commended the zone’s leadership for organising the strategic class, adding that knowledge is the greatest, and the more one seeks after it, the better for such a person. “Ikeja zone of ACPN is known for this and we are all used to it. However, the participation of our members is not good enough because Ikeja Zone should be a role model for others to emulate,” she said.