To mark the Annual Health Week of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, the association recently held an awareness lecture on innovation and prosperity of a pharmacist.
The event themed: ‘Innovate or Die: About Technology in Pharmacy’, graced by a good number of Pharmacy students was the 18th annual symposium of the faculty. The first edition was held in 2001.
Speaking at the event, Prof. (Mrs) Gloria Ajayi, Dean of Pharmacy, UNILAG, said “Although, the theme for the symposium was innovate or die, I will rather title it as innovate and prosper”.
She explained that the reason is because; there are quite a number of challenges in the country at the moment, which require innovative solutions through the use of technology to unravel. She noted that any student who is willing to provide solutions to the problems in Nigeria using technology i.e the internet will definitely prosper.
The professor also stated that Pharmacy is just the basis, it is not what one study in university that defines people, and it is actually what one makes out of it that defines people. “If one chooses to go into any field apart from Pharmacy, there is a possibility that one could be more successful than the person on the field”.
While stating the importance of learning from other fields of study, she explained that the dress she was putting on was made by one of her students, who graduated from the faculty of pharmacy some years back.
Ajayi added that there are quite a number of student s who studied something else and decided to dive into another field mainly to solve societal problems, like disposal of refuse.
“I read about a student in Kenya, who has developed a technology on how he can recycle waste, and he is making a lot of money, and the big thing is that he is creating job opportunities for people. It is not necessary that they need to practice pharmacy, they can veer into other areas not necessarily Pharmacy,” the dean stated.
Explaining the reason for choosing this topic for the symposium, Yusuf Sultan PANS president, said that the trend in Pharmacy is combination of technology with Pharmacy, noting that at the ongoing FIP conference, there was a display of a robot dispensing drugs, ‘who knew there would be a time like this’ he added.
During the conference, the PANS president, also added that his next step after the four walls of university, he would like to go into public health pharmacy. He noted that public health pharmacists contribute to the broader goals of providing access to quality health care services, promoting the public health overall, and maximizing limited healthcare resources.
Advising pharmacists in attendants, Adeola Adeshina, a data scientist and a pharmacist, said the first thing is that new intake should never get too emotional about being a pharmacist.
He further added that the Pharmacy system is broken, and that was the first thing he discovered and that was why he decided not to practice pharmacy.
He counselled them by telling them to be objective and try not to be a regular pharmacist, “If that is what your dream entails no problem, but if you have a bigger dream, you have to aim for more” he said.
Adeshina also explained that Pharmacy training allows you to be more successful outside Pharmacy than inside the profession, adding that, if one should look at all those that are successful now in Pharmacy, they are not practicing Pharmacy. “Pharmacy imbibes some skill sets into you, however because the system is broken down, you can do less” the data analyst said.
Amongst the dignitaries at the event were Pharm. Olagunju Muyiwa, PSN, YPG president; Abimbola Abass Jimi-Adebakin CEO of Advantage Health Africa; and Pharm Shina Opanubi, project catalyst, Pharm. Alliance.