Pharmacy academy to address leadership, manpower development
Top among the major challenges identified as hampering the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare services in the country is that 70 per cent of total domestic drug consumption is imported while just about 40 per cent of local
production capacity is utilised.
These were the views of the newly-inaugurated Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAP), headed by the former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, and corroborated by the President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Olumide Akintayo.
Other problems include the pharmaceutical industry's insignificant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a general infrastructure decline in pharmaceutical schools nationwide, shortage of lecturers/researchers and research deficiencies, despondence among the hospital pharmacists due to hostile work environment, apathy among the youths leading to
braindrain, and unfair competition experienced by community pharmacists. Adelusi-Adeluyi said: "Our primary and immediate concern will be the health sector where statistics remain pathetic as it had been in previous years. Today, Nigeria is
ranked 187t out of 190 countries in the United Nations (UN)/World Health Organisation (WHO) rating for health systems."
Therefore, the questions members of the academy and pharmacists in general should answer include: Are we going to do something about pharmacy education and restore it to a position of pride in the nation? Are we going to do something about
drug research, discovery and development so that Nigeria can contribute new molecules in the battle against diseases? Are we going to do something about the community pharmacy practice and drug distribution in Nigeria and change the current negative
public perception of pharmacy and pharmacists? Are we going to do something about the current crowded, uninspiring, unethical and unscientific drug promotion in Nigeria?
Are we going to do something about local production of essential medicines to meet at least 70 per cent of our national consumption?
Adelusi-Adeluyi said that NAP was set up to, among others, "provide thought and opinion leadership in the education and practice of pharmacy, advance the cause of pharmaceutical SCiences, pharmacy practice and matters relating to pharmacy in
general, provide a platform to influence national and state policies that enable the fulfilment of the mission, duty and
obligation of pharmacy to the populace, and promote professional harmony within and outside the health sector in the country." Other interim officers of NAP include Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha (Vice President, North), Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi (Vice'
President, South), Prof. Fola Tayo (General Secretary), Sir Anthony Akhimien (Assistant General Secretary), Victor
Osibodu (Treasurer) and Sam Nda-Isaiab (Publicity Secretary).
By Chukwuma Muanya
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