Recognise Community Pharmacists as Pry Healthcare Providers, ACPN urges FG

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– Says Obasanjo, Ooni of Ife, Abiodun, will grace Abeokuta Conference

Pharmacists under the aegis of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), have called on the Federal Government to officially recognize them as primary healthcare providers in the country, saying Nigeria’s approach to primary healthcare is missing an essential ingredient, which is the active recognition of community pharmacists as the most accessible, highly trained and competent health professionals in the communities.

ACPN National Chairman, Dr Samuel Adekola disclosed this in Lagos at a press briefing in preparation for the 40th Annual National Conference of the Association, with the theme “Abuja Declaration: Equipping Pharmacists For Universal Health Coverage”, which will hold at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, from 30 August to 4 September  2021.

According to him, the conference this year is epochal as it’s going to build on the gain of last year’s conference in Abuja, which was an advocacy conference as it had the theme “Optimising Primary Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria: Community Pharmacists’ Untapped Potentials”.

L-R: Pharm. Wale Adenugba, chairman, LOC; Pharm. Daniel Ajayi; vice-chairman; Dr Samuel Adekola, national chairman; Pharm. Ambrose Eze, secretary; and Pharm. (Mrs) Ashore Omokhafe, treasurer, at the press briefing.

Speaking further, the ACPN boss noted that this year’s theme is apt, saying primary healthcare is the foundation for all public health interventions by the government. He said if we as a nation gets  it right at this level, our nation’s health indices which are presently abysmally low will certainly improve.

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“With the sensitisation and high-level advocacy generated on the need to officially recognise and designate community pharmacists as primary healthcare providers, the ACPN believes that core competencies of pharmacists need to be improved to be able to meet up with some of the challenges that this role will bring, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are witnessing its third wave currently,” he said.

He continued, our mandatory continuing education professional development programme that will be hosted in this year’s conference is focused on vaccination training for pharmacists, so as to equip them especially in the light of the current pandemic, and of course, other public health challenges so as to be able to provide vaccination services to our teeming populace because vaccination is very crucial as one of the major pillars of public health intervention strategy.

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Speaking on the upcoming conference and its expectations, Adekola assured participants that the conference, which doubled as the 40th anniversary celebration of the association is going to be a conference like no other in the annals of pharmaceutical conferences in Nigeria, adding that the ACPN is rolling out the drums to celebrate her 40 years of existence as the foremost technical arm of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), and will equally celebrate its achievements from the days of humble beginnings.

Adekola added that come 30 August 2021 to 4 September  2021, Abeokuta will be filled with who is who in the society as the conference plays host to the number one pharmacist in the world, in the person of Pharm. Dominique Jordan, the president, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP); His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; His Excellency, Gov.  Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife; Dr (Pharm) Dere Awosika, chairman, opening ceremony; Prof. Pharm. Lere Bale, as the keynote speaker among many others.

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He said the President, PSN, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, as well as the executive director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency; Dr Faisal Shuaib will also be in attendance.

He added  that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state; Stella Okoli, group managing director, Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited; His Royal Highness, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi; Oba Hammed Adekunle Mahama, the Olowu of Kuta in Osun State; High Chief Adebukola Adebutu Kessington, chairman, Premier Lotto; Col. Hammed Alli (rtd), Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service; Mr Dare Aragbaye, SSA, Special Duties and Union Matters; Chief Michael Adeojo, chairman, Elizade Group, among few others would be receiving awards in recognition of their contributions to the development of healthcare in general and Pharmacy in particular.

The ACPN chairman however assured that adequate security will be provided within and around the venue of the conference, adding that the conference would be a rewarding experience for all participants and exhibitors who will avail themselves the unique opportunity to showcase and expose their products and services to the teeming audience expected at the conference.

 

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