Pharm Lere Baale, regional director of Howes Consulting Group and director of Business School Netherlands has called for a comprehensive review of pharmacy curriculum in universities to include topics on leadership skills, clinical pharmacy, public health and business administration.
Baale made the call while delivering a keynote address on the theme, “Pharmacy Education and Research: Key to Good Pharmacy Practice” at the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) UNILAG branch’s annual one-day symposium held at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos.
A board member of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Baale also wants every lecturer to evolve into a certified Action Learning Coach (CALC).
“I know it is not easy to teach what you don’t practise. Our lecturers however can do better by spending at least 1,000 hours each year to practise in hospital, community, manufacturing, sales and marketing,” he remarked.
Pharmacy schools, according to him, have taken an analytical and discipline-based approach for centuries.
“For several years we emphasised analytics, models, and statistics. But we need to convince ourselves that the world markets (and business needs) have changed. As I usually say, words inspire but action transform!” he stressed.
Baale noted that the pharmacy profession has proudly produced great icons everywhere – including Cyprian Ekwensi, the literary luminary; Adeyinka Oyekan, Late Oba of Lagos State; Chief Olu Akinkugbe, a revered pharmacist; Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, former minister of health and social services; Dr Dere Awosika, a respected icon of the profession; Hajia Amina Zakari, chairman of INEC; Tolu Ogunlesi, social activitist and several others.
In a related development, Pharm. (Mrs) Molade Adeniyi, pharmacy services manager, HealthPlus Pharmacy declared that the role of the pharmacist in the health care delivery system and the society at large has undergone considerable changes over the years.
While explaining the traditional role of pharmacists, the pharmacist emphasised that it is important that pharmacy education from undergraduate and postgraduate to Mandatory Continuous Professional Development (MCPD) prepares pharmacists for this ever-evolving role.
Adeniyi said that there are six main levels of pharmacy education in Nigeria, namely, undergraduate education, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), internship programme, foreign pharmacists graduate orientation programme, postgraduate education and MCPD.
The HealthPlus executive also noted that much as the majority of newly graduated pharmacists are knowledgeable, they often demonstrate lack of some basic skills such as leadership, communication, practice experience, confidence and analytical skils.
“The role of pharmacists worldwide has been redefined in line with global trends and advancements. We need to catch up fast! We must benchmark our industry with that of developed countries and be determined to raise the bar in order to achieve excellence in healthcare delivery,” she charged.
Towards the end of the programme, four personalities were given award of excellence in recognition of their contributions to the growth of Pharmacy in academia. They were Pharm. Lere Baale; Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, former dean of the faculty who was represented by Pharm (Dr) Glory Ajayi, associate professor, department of Pharmacognosy; Pharm. (Mrs) Molade Adeniyi, HealthPlus services manager and Pharm (Dr) Moshood Akinleye, former sub-dean of the school.
Also in attendance were Pharm. Oluwatosin Adeymi, chairman, University of Lagos (UNILAG) branch of NAPA; Prof Boladale Silva, new dean; Pharm Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited; Dr Sunday Olayemi, acting head, department of pharmacology; Pharm. Aminat Oyawaluja, lecturer, department of Pharmacognosy; Dr Rebecca Soremekun, a senior lecturer in the department of Clinical Pharmacy; and Prof. Cecilia Igwilo, a Fellow of the PSN.
Others were Prof Udoma Mendie, professor of microbiology; Pharm. Bamisaye Oyawaluja, vice chairman; Pharm. (Mrs) Fatima Ikolaba, treasurer; Pharm (Mrs) Ogochukwu Amaeze, financial secretary; and Pharm. Joseph Oiseoghaede, secretary; Pharm. Arinola Joda, a senior lecturer with Faculty of Pharmacy and Dr Lawal Bakare, chief executive officer of HEIT Solutions;
The Nigerian Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) is a technical arm of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) made up of pharmacists practising in the field of academics and research. The association is currently the foremost research arm of the PSN and its reproductive arm as it is saddled with the production of individuals fit for registration as pharmacists.
NAPA’s first symposium held last year was theme “Collaboration creating value” and the keynote explored ways that significant collaborations can be pursued leading to important advances beyond the summation of individual parts of the health care team.
The event itself was a collaborative effort between distinguished pharmacists and medical professionals from the College of Medicine.