L-R: Prof. ’Fola Tayo, Caleb University’s pro-chancellor and chairman of council; Pharm (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited and Pharm. Remi Adeseun, chairman of Rodot Nigeria Limited in a warm handshake during the event
In a strategic move towards greater excellence in pharmaceutical practice, experts have called on pharmacy students to embrace a paradigm shift by challenging the status quo.
In his keynote address themed “Pharmacists’ Role in National Healthcare Policy Making” at a symposium held at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos recently, Pharm. Remi Adeseun, chairman of Rodot Nigeria Limited, counselled students not to limit themselves to the conventional sub-fields of the profession.
He urged them to consider areas such as public health pharmacy which had become a growing area for modern-day professionals to explore.
“It is nothing to be scared of,” he assured. “Thank God we have trailblazers like Prof. ’Fola Tayo who are now experts in that aspect. For instance, how many of you are aware that nurses and pharmacists have been included in the prescription-based medicine policy of the United Kingdom, away from the conventional doctors-only policy of old?” he noted.
The pharmacist cum entrepreneur expressed confidence that Nigeria would soon be joining the trend, adding that young pharmacy students must necessarily broaden their knowledge,instead of limiting their scope of learning to what their lecturers taught them.
In a related development, Pharm (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited, equally advised final year students of the faculty to use the pharmacy profession to serve God, as this would make the profession more fulfilling for them.
“This has a lot to do with innate ability and talent in your calling. Money is good but it should not end there. Learn to give a listening ear to God. I want you to enjoy the profession because I am enjoying it,” he enthused.
Another distinguished expert, Prof. ’Fola Tayo, also affirmed that the face of Pharmacy was changing strategically. The Caleb University’s pro-chancellor and council chairman further used the opportunity to warn those who were not interested in practising with their licence after graduation.
“Every licence has an expiration date which can be renewed based on how active you are. In the advanced world, if you don’t practise until expiration, such licence will be revoked. You will be asked to go back to school. I am sure none of you here wants that,” he stated.
Also lending his voice to the discourse, Pharm. Adeshina Opanubi, lead consultant of PharmAlliance, used a few parables to emphasise the need for the students to be proactive and persevering in challenging the status quo.
“Life is neither always easy nor comfortable. Things don’t happen as we wish. People don’t treat us as we hope. We work very hard, yet get few results. The way out is for us to make something good from the difficulties we face. Only through such means can we learn new things – new knowledge, new skills and new abilities. Above all, we tend to grow in experience. To succeed in life, we must try and try again. We must believe in what we are doing and must not give up,” he urged.
The annual health week programme organised by Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), UNILAG chapter was equally attended by Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, former dean, UNILAG Faculty of Pharmacy; Pharm. Charles Akinsete, chief executive officer of Biospec Network Limited; Pharm. (Dr) Monica Hemben Eimunjeze, NAFDAC director of registration and regulatory affairs; Pharm. Gbenga Olubowale, chairman, Lagos chapter of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN); Pharm. (Dr) Segun Adesegun, acting head, department of Pharmacognosy, UNILAG; and Dr Abimbola Sowemimo, sub dean, UNILAG Faculty of Pharmacy.