In this exclusive interview with Pharmanews, Ganiyat Folashade Sanusi, vice president, Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, lends her voice to the persistent call for a review of pharmacy education in the country. The 400-Level students’ leader also speaks on her foray into Pharmacy, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their administration, and other issues. Excerpts:
Tell us about your experience as a pharmacy student in the last four years and what prompted your decision to study Pharmacy?
For me pharmacy school has been an emotional rollercoaster. I decided to study Pharmacy because of the diverse nature of the profession, and it gives chance to explore some other skills. Those are some of the reasons I opted for it.
What aspects of your responsibilities as the vice president, PANS-OAU, do you consider particularly challenging, and how have you been coping?
The role of the vice president is not new to me as I had served as vice president and president of some associations on campus, including the Drug Free Club and others. From experience, I would say the fundraising aspect, which is one of the major roles of the vice president, has to be the most challenging. Due to the pandemic and economic downswing, it has been a little more intense than usual, but we are still trying to make the best out of the situation.
The year 2020 was riddled with lots of challenges, ranging from COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest nationwide, how many of your administrative goals for the year were achieved?
Very few of our goals have been achieved yet. The pandemic set in just two weeks after the school resumption, just when we were about to have our freshers’ week. The only thing we were able to execute before the pandemic was tutorials for the new students on campus and those in the faculty.
Also, during the pandemic, quite a number of webinars were organised to keep pharmacy students engaged, regardless of the situation.
There have been various complaints concerning the pharmacy curriculum. What are your thoughts on this?
I would just like to say that the curriculum can be way better than it is now, if most of the irrelevancies are scrapped. The world is evolving, let’s be updated too – not just doing the same thing the way it’s been done years before some of us were born.
How would you react to the emergence of Pharm. Yimika Oguns as the new PSN-YPG national chairman? And what are your suggestions to the group?
I have worked personally with Pharm. Yimika Oguns before and I am most certain she is the best candidate for the position. She is going to deliver the best of her abilities, as her previous records can prove that she is a very good team leader.
I would suggest that they keep all the promises made in their manifesto and set a good pace for us incoming young pharmacists.
How did you see last year’s PSN conference in Osogbo, Osun State?
I must admit that I was amazed that the conference could be so well-organised and well-attended, despite the pandemic and the economic downswing.
What is your view on student unionism?
Violence most times yields no result but causes more damage. I would choose protest over violence to air my views about a situation that isn’t well attended to.