Stakeholders in the Pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria, including the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai; Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Pharm. NAE Mohammed; National Chairman, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Pharm. (Dr) Albert Kelong Alkali, have challenged the Africa Pharmaceutical Forum (APF), a subgroup of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) to take its rightful position as an umbrella body, and the voice for all pharmacists in Africa.
The remarks were made at the APF’s Regional Workshop with the theme “Sustainable Development Goal and Universal Health Coverage”, which was held at the Dovers Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.
Speaking at the programme, the PSN president, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, noted that the theme for the workshop was topical as it affects almost all African countries, however challenged the leadership of APF to ensure they work harder in order to attain the leadership position which he said the group should occupy in Africa.
Speaking further, Yakasai said that there are lots of potentials in the African pharmaceutical industry, saying what is left is that everybody should work together and collaborate in order to make affordable and effective medicine available to all Africans, irrespective of the country they come from. “We must build local capacity and viable pharmaceutical companies that are truly African in their service delivery and market.”
“It is also important to promote the idea and getting commitment from FIP to be giving special grant to third world countries, which include many countries in Africa in time of emergency outbreak of diseases like Ebola, Meningitis and others, and by so doing, APF should also position itself to take full advantage of these special grants if considered for the benefits of our people and profession.”
In his own contribution, the PCN Registrar, Pharm. NAE Mohammed, observed that the challenges facing the practice is not peculiar to only Nigeria as it affects other African countries as well, adding that the PCN is doing everything possible to ensure the challenges are surmounted.
The registrar further urged all pharmacists in Africa to join the regulatory bodies in their respective countries in the fight against counterfeiting, drug faking as well as quackery, saying it is time to rise and take back pharmacy from those who want to hijack it before it is too late. “The only thing pushing so many of them is the monetary gain, and not for the love for humanity, so it is time to rise and protect what is rightfully ours”, he said.
Earlier in his speech, the APF president, Pharm. Anthony Akhimen, reiterated that the forum will continue to focus on projects that will develop the role of pharmacists in providing advice and information, encouraging safe drug use, promoting healthy lifestyles and supporting disease management through pharmacy-based patient-oriented services.
He disclosed that the forum which was founded in 2004 with the objective to foster regional integration among member countries is the FIPs sixth Regional forum of National Pharmaceutical Organizations in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office, adding that the regional workshop was organized to offer participants an invaluable avenue to enrich their career while at the same time participating in the decision that would steer the future of pharmacy and health care in Africa.
Other dignitaries at the programme include, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director, Pharmanews Limited; Dr. Henri Charles Ainadou, president, Board of Benin Association of Pharmacists; Pharm. (Mrs) Jocelyn Chaibva from Zimbabwe; Dr. Kima Tessa, Cameroun; Dr. Didier Mouliom, Cameroun; Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, immediate past president, PSN; Pharm. Azubike Okwor, former president, PSN; Dr. Ogori Taylor, keynote speaker; Pharm. Bola Adeniran, chairman, PSN, Lagos State; Pharm. Abiola Paul-Ozieh, chairman, ACPN, Lagos State; Pharm. Chijoke Ofomata, Secretary, APF; Pharm. Timehin Ogungbe; Pharm. Iyiola Gbolagade, national secretary, PSN among others.