Barring any unforeseen constraint, the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos (UNILAG) will begin the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programme from the 2023 academic session.
Dean of the faculty, Professor Aderonke Ayinke Adepoju-Bello, revealed this to Pharmanews in a recent interview, saying that the faculty had been working with the school authorities to ensure a successful take-off of the programme.
She added that the university’s Senate had approved the programme, while the Academic Planning Unit was finalising arrangement to send the necessary documentation to the National Universities Commission (NUC) for resource verification.
Adepoju-Bello, who took over as dean on 1 August 2021, said one of her main aspirations for the faculty is the commencement of the PharmD.
She noted that the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria had also given the faculty 2023 as the deadline to start the programme, adding that the reason the faculty had not begun the programme was to ensure that the groundwork was properly done.
According to the dean, “PharmD has protocols and we have to follow them. Some rules and regulations must be followed to start a new programme at the University of Lagos. The form for the new programme was filled and it went through various committees to be sure that everything was done properly.
“After the document had gone through the various committees, it went to the Senate of the university, which is the highest authority, for approval; and as I said earlier, the Senate has approved it. So the Academic Planning Unit will send it to the NUC after which the NUC will come for resource verification. We are optimistic that the programme will start in 2023 to meet the PCN deadline.”
In a related development, Prof. Adepoju-Bello has called on organisations and well-to-do individuals to support the faculty in its drive for expansion. She said the faculty, which currently operates at the university’s College of Medicine, Idi-Araba Campus, has been provided with a piece of land at Akoka, which needs to be urgently developed.
In her words: “We need more space for laboratories and a GMP laboratory for production. We want our land in Akoka located in a water-logged area, very close to the lagoon, to be built. We need funds to reclaim the land and build.
“I am currently working with the Works and Services Directorate of the University of Lagos to put the building project into segments; so we are calling on the good people of Nigeria and organisations to assist us.”
The dean, who is a professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, with special interests in pharmaceutical analysis, analytical chemistry, and natural product chemistry, said the faculty, in conjunction with the university’s management, prioritises research. This she said, is evident in the number of research teams in the university working tirelessly to get discoveries.
According to her, UNILAG has a Central Research Committee that gives grant to staff for research and conference attendance.
Adepoju-Bello also called on the government to support pharmacy practice at all levels so that the health sector can be strengthened and positioned to provide quality service for every Nigerian.
She said: “Pharmacy practice at all levels needs funding. Academia needs funding for research, and to set up standard laboratories and many other things. The government needs to support pharmacy practice; that is the only way drug importation can reduce.”
The dean also called on pharmacists to always attend training programmes, conferences and workshops in their areas of specialisation, in order to be abreast of latest ideas, methods and developments.
“Every pharmacist needs to go for more training because new things are coming up every day. We should continue to upgrade ourselves, attend conferences – both local and international – and also embark on research. That is the way to go,” she urged.