Pharmacy students are too preoccupied with academics – PANS editor

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Jibril Chado is a 500 -level pharmacy student of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS). He is the current national editor-in-chief, Zone C of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), as well as being auditor-general of PANS-UDUS. In this exclusive interview with Pharmanews, the soft-spoken Jibril reveals some of the plans of PANS-UDUS editorial department for pharmacy students within the next one year, as well as the challenges facing the department. He also discusses the contribution of Sir (Pharm.) Ifeanyi Atueyi, publisher of Pharmanews to the development of pharmacy practice in the country. Excerpts:

Whose decision was it for you to study Pharmacy?

It was purely my decision. It’s no more a hidden fact that Pharmacy is one of the most lucrative courses in the world today, and for this and some other reasons I fell in love with it. Also, I am an inquisitive person and I have always wondered about drugs – how they are made, how components are put together to make a formulation and how they cure various diseases. This curiosity was also one of the important reasons I found myself in the school of pharmacy and I am glad today because I took a very good decision then.


What motivated your decision to contest for the post of PANS editor-in-chief?

The love of writing, the need to be heard and the opportunity to motivate other students through creative writing constituted my major drive. There is a saying that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. So, disseminating information to people through writing or other means is very important and can g o a long way in benefiting people.

I have discovered that, being pharmacy students, we have a very tight schedule and we hardly have time to access information about what is happening around us; in fact, we care less about what is happening around the world. So I thought it wise that I should bridge that gap by positioning myself in such a way that my colleagues would benefit greatly and this has yielded many positive results. My colleagues now have access to the editorial board and know what is going on around them.


What goals have you set to achieve before the end of your tenure as the editor-in-chief?

Some of the objectives I hope to have achieved at the end of my tenure, especially within my zone include: a) Enlightenment of pharmacy students on the various opportunities that abound in the profession; b) to increase awareness and keep all pharmacy students, especially those under my zone, up-to-date about happenings in the pharmacy profession and beyond; c) to give opportunity to some pharmacy students who are talented writers to utilise their gifts; d) to increase the representation of Zone C in the annual PANS magazine so we won’t be left out; and e) to create and promote awareness about the activities of our zone to other schools of pharmacy in the country and beyond.


How have you been coping, combining editorial responsibilities of PANS with your studies?

I have to categorically state that it has not been an easy task; but with zeal and commitment, many things are achievable. We all know how demanding and tasking pharmacy school is but, with God, I have been able to cope.


In terms of membership participation, have you been getting the needed cooperation among your fellow pharmacy students?


It’s actually disheartening to say this – but the fact remains that the level of cooperation among my fellow students has been quite discouraging. Majority of them usually feel preoccupied with academic activities to the extent that they hardly have time for anything else. It has always been difficult getting articles and write-ups from colleagues and whenever I call for editorial meeting, where we can brainstorm on how to get editorial contents, I hardly see anybody. We are hopeful, though, that this challenge will be surmounted soon, as we have made it our duty in the editorial team to constantly post articles about current happenings on the editorial board and creating awareness about the board among the students.


How would you assess the contribution of Pharmanews publisher, Pharm. Ifeanyi Atueyi, to the development of the profession?

Gratitude of unimaginable level has to be given to Pharm. Ifeanyi Atueyi for his enormous contribution to pharmacy journalism. I have received the Pharmanews journal and gone through the contents and I am bold to say that it has contributed to the development of pharmacy profession nationwide and globally. I also want to say that we the younger ones appreciate his efforts. We are praying that God keeps strengthening him while we hope to achieve his feats and possibly surpass him one day.


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Pharmacy students are too preoccupied with academics – PANS editor