No fewer than 200 residents of Igando community in Igando Ikotun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State have benefited from a free medical screening and awareness campaign, which was recently organised by members of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Ikotun Zone, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary celebration of the traditional ruler of Igando, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, (Oro-Otan III), on the throne.
The free medical screening and awareness crusade , which took place at the Palace of the Onigando of Igando, had among the several people in attendance, community pharmacists in the zone, politicians, chiefs-in-council to the king, clerics, members of the Market Women Association, among others.
Speaking at the event, the coordinator, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Ikotun Zone, Pharm. Fazazee Taofik, explained that the free medical screening and awareness programme, was organised to have an impact in the community where members of the association practiced, as well as commemorating and celebrating the 40th anniversary celebration of the traditional ruler of the town, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, who has spent forty years on the throne.
Speaking further, he said many people do not know the difference between pharmacists and other healthcare providers, especially the medical doctors, therefore, it is necessary for us to be here to showcase our presence to the people of this community and to tell them that there are lots of things that they are missing by not regularly patronising registered pharmacists.
While receiving the pharmacists in his palace, Oba Onigando appreciated them for felicitating with him on his 40th anniversary on the throne of his forefathers, as well as their good gestures in bringing the health awareness advocacy to his domain, in order to enlighten his people on the dangers of drug abuse and misuse, and self-medication.
Oba Gbadamosi further expressed his delight in the free medical screening conducted for his people, adding that the exercise, if continued, would greatly help to prevent illnesses in the community and promote longer, healthier life. “The rate at which people slump and die is quite alarming, yet most times the cause of death is something minor that could have been treated if properly diagnosed earlier. So, it is good when one is aware of his or her health status and I am happy that this is happening in my community” he said.
The octogenarian monarch who ascended the throne on 3 August, 1978, at the age of forty years, disclosed that the secret of his youthfulness and physical fitness, despite his old age, was a combination of healthy diet, regular exercise, and constant medical screening, adding that he often counselled his subjects and children to follow his example.
Speaking on the campaign, the chairman, Planning Committee for the programme, Pharm. Ademola Moyosade, stressed the need for pharmacists to continue in the advocacy, saying, “it is our responsibility as one of the foremost healthcare providers in the country to provide counselling and create awareness in every setting we find ourselves against drug abuse and misuse, as well as dangers involved in drug abuse”.
Moyosade, further added that he was overwhelmed by the way people embraced the programme. “Although, the screening and awareness exercise was part of the programme to celebrate our royal father, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi 40th anniversary on the throne, it has been impressive, with the way people are scrambling to get tested and asked questions about their health. This shows that people are in dire need of this medical screening and that they really want to know their health status.
Speaking on the topic, “Pharmacists: Your Medicine Experts”, the duo of Pharm. Olusola Jaiyeoba and Pharm. (Mrs) Bukola Folorunsho, who were both keynote speakers described a pharmacist as a “health care professional who is trained and licensed to manufacture, distribute and dispense drugs and to advise patients on the use of drug”, adding that a pharmacists possesses diversified skills and gets involved in decisions to improve the health of patients.”
According to the two keynote speakers, the general public should be on the lookout for the pharmacy emblem whenever they are patronising any pharmacy, adding that the symbol shows members of the public where quality medicines and excellent pharmaceutical care and services are provided.