UNILAG VC Urges Nigerians to Emulate Omololu-Mulele, Support Research

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…As Prof. Jaiyeoba charges Nigeria to prepare for future pandemic

UNILAG VC Urges Nigerians to Emulate Omololu-Mulele, Support Research
Presentation of N1.4 million research grant to the winner, Chijioke Emmanuel at the event.

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has called on well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the virtues of late Mrs Frederica Abimbola Omololu-Mulele, who donated handsomely to support education and research, saying such gesture is the easiest way to fund teaching and research activities in Nigerian universities, amidst dwindling government funding of tertiary institutions.

Prof. Ogundipe, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics and Research, Prof. Oluwole Familoni, made the remarks on Friday at the occasion of the Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu 5th Annual Lecture in Pharmacy, held at the Old Great Hall, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi Araba, Lagos State. The event was chaired by the Managing Director, Deyo Pharmacy, Pharm.(Sir) Oladeji Ojewunmi Osinoiki.

The 5th Annual Lecture titled: “Impact of Pandemics on Pharmaceutical Education and Practice” was in memory of late Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu, who was one of the earliest pharmacists in Nigeria with late Mrs Omololu-Mulele as the donor of endowment funds of N36 million.

According to Prof. Ogundipe, the lecture originated on 8 April, 2015, when the vice-chancellor was notified, via a letter from a solicitor, S. B. Onu Esq, acting on the instruction of the Executives/Trustees to the Estate of Mrs Omololu-Mulele, that the late Mrs Omololu-Mulele, had in her last Will and Testament, dated 19th day of June, 2005, made a provision for the endowment of two professorial Chairs at the University of Lagos in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as in Pharmacy.

A cross section of guests at the event, which comprise the Mulele’s family, staff of UNILAG and distinguished guests.

The UNILAG VC noted that when it was noticed that the yields accruable from the endowed funds of N36 million for each chair would not be adequate to cover the full costs for the operations of the two chairs in perpetuity, the university management at a meeting with the trustees resolved that the income arising from the endowment be used to fund two annual lectures in the specified feeds of study, in fulfilment of the testator’s objective of promoting learning and research in the university, in perpetuity.

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Prof. Ogundipe expressed profound appreciation to the Estate of the late Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele for partnering with University of Lagos in building and sustaining the pillar of academic knowledge in the great institution through the endowment of the annual lectures.

The VC said “I also want to express special thanks to the Executors of the Will of the late Mrs Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele, particularly Mrs Hairat Balogun and Mrs Laide Sasegbon, who acted with utmost honesty and passion in executing the last wishes of the Donor.

“It is imperative to state that the Estate of the Donor recently facilitated an additional donation of N20 million to the Trust Fund. The same amount of N20 million was added to Abimbola Omololu –Mulele Annual Lecture in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The late Mrs Abimbola Omololu-Mulele is being remembered and appreciated today for this exceptional benefaction which is rare occurrence in this part of the world.

“There is no doubt that the annual lecture in Pharmacy will promote the generation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of pharmaceutical sciences and thus serve as a lasting legacy for many generations”.

In his keynote address, the former Vice-Chancellor, Ajayi Crowther University, Professor Kolawole T. Jaiyeoba, who was the guest speaker, commended the family of the late Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele for the uncommon gesture towards the University of Lagos in the endowment that brought about the annual lecture to promote Pharmacy profession.

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He therefore called on other individuals and organisations who are in a position to do so, to emulate the late Mrs Omololu-Mulele and join in the effort to promote and advance knowledge in the field of Pharmacy.

While examining the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pharmaceutical education and practice, Prof. Jaiyeoba said the latest and world-hit pandemic in human history is the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that the pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill and every sector suffered a huge setback including a double figure decline in the major stock markets.

The guest speaker noted that the healthcare system in the developing countries are especially threatened because of the effect the pandemic had on the already weak health systems in the countries. He however noted that the pandemic brought a lot of opportunities to the pharma sector just as it brought detrimental impacts to the sector.

According to him, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on pharmacy practice among others include prevention of infection, managing supply chain, preventing stockpiling and provision of evidence based medical information. He pointed out that even in the midst of the challenges, pharmacists have been able to lean on local authorities for supporting the form of delivering medicines to vulnerable patients and this represents an area of promise for the future.

“Another lesson learnt in the pandemic was the need for recognition of pharmacists as frontline workers in favour of their role of mitigating the impact of global pandemics in resource limited countries in Africa”, Prof. Jaiyeoba said.

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Having learnt a lot of lessons, he harped on the need to prepare for future pandemic. He said “industrial pharmacy should be repositioned and empowered towards local drug manufacturing as this will improve drug availability during pandemics or lockdown. Our healthcare system should promote pharmacists’ involvement in primary healthcare policy leadership, advocacy and strategic partnership among various organisations. Government should encourage and support research efforts without waiting for occurrences like pandemics to dictate”.

In his remarks, the special guest of honour at the event, a former governorship candidate in Lagos State and Managing Director, JayKay Pharmacy Limited, Pharm. Jimi Agbaje, also mentioned the need for well-meaning Nigerians to learn how to give back to the society.

“We must continue to appreciate the Mulele family because the donor has really helped the pharmacy profession/practice a lot. It is a big lesson to the larger society. We should know that the real test of achievement is not how much in the bank account or the size of our political party but what is being given back to the society”, Agbaje said.

Meanwhile, a student of the institution, Eze-Obiorah Chijioke Emmanuel has won a research grant of N1.4 million from the donor. While announcing the winner, the distinguished professor C. I. Igwilo, said the research grant panel called for entries and out of all the entries that the panel received, Emmanuel’s topic was the most relevant, hence he emerged the winner.

Emmanuel, in a brief chat with Pharmanewsonline expressed appreciation to the donor for supporting research work in the field of Pharmacy. He promised to always put in his best to advance the course of pharmacy profession.

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