…As IPSF holds first Leaders in Training workshop in Nigeria
The premises of Nigeria’s premier private university, Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State, were recently aglow with excitement, as the institution played host to pharmacy schools across the country for the International Pharmacy Students Federation (IPSF) Leaders in Training (LIT) Workshop.
The three-day intensive workshop, which had the theme “Promoting Health Care System In West Africa Through Health Campaign Initiative” was meant to foster friendships, enforce professionalism, equip pharmacy students with a renewed zeal to propagate the tenets of the profession, as well as sensitise them on how to work professionally after graduation.
L-R, Mr. Sylvester Adeyemi, LOC chairman; Pharm. Seun Omobo, chairperson, FIP-YPG; Mr Olumide Ibikunle, PANS president, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State; Pharm. (Mrs) Bisi Bright, vice chairman and chief executive officer, LiveWell Initiative (LWI) and Mr. Aniekan Ekpenyong, secretary, IPSF African regional office.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to his office by the delegates, the vice chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, Prof. Eghosa Osaghie, commended the efforts of the pharmacy students in the school and urged them to continue in the tradition of excellence that the school and the college of pharmacy were known for, adding that they should endeavour to be good ambassadors of the pharmacy profession.
The vice chancellor also showered praises on the IPSF team for their renewed commitment to promote and improve public health through the provision of information, education and networking, alongside a range of publications and professional activities.
Also speaking, the Dean, Dora Akunyili College of Pharmacy, Igbinedion University, Prof. J.M Oke, stated that the workshop was a huge success, noting that its aim was to foster co-operation among the upcoming healthcare workforce and generate a pool of skilled students capable of handling a worthy health campaign, among other mandatory skills.
“With a team of competent facilitators and a range of topics and subtopics, information was disseminated, activities were taken head on in several bouts of brainstorming and new frontiers were forged, and I am highly impressed. The aim of the event was achieved as the workshop did more than just bring people together; it had a lot of informing and educating in its wings,” Oke said.
In her lecture, titled, “Promoting Healthcare System In West Africa through Health Campaign Initiatives” Pharm. (Mrs) Bisi Bright, vice chairman and chief executive officer, LiveWell Initiative (LWI), urged the students to contribute their quota to the growth and development of the healthcare sector in the country.
According to Bright, who was once secretary general of West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), a modern public health approach of improving health and quality of life through prevention and treatment of diseases requires a multidisciplinary team of public health workers and professionals including the pharmacist.
She added that there was need to strengthen the healthcare system through incorporation of both curative and preventive approaches to health and wellness.
“When Steve Jobs introduced the iPod in 2001, he said, “In our own small way, we are going to make the world a better place.” So like Steve Job, I dare to say with utmost pride and confidence that in our own small way, we pharmacists and the upcoming ones should strive to make Nigeria a strong and healthy nation, a nation full of wellness. Beyond that, we pharmacists should endeavour to make West Africa a hub of wellness and a fount of health campaign initiatives.”
Bright further said that the roles and importance of pharmacists in promotion of health campaign initiatives cannot be overemphasized, noting that such roles include advocacy, counselling, awareness, screening and treatment facilitation, among others.
Corroborating Bisi Bright, Pharm. Seun Omobo, chairperson, FIP-YPG, said that the collaboration between the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS) and the Young Pharmacists Group (YPG) presented a great opportunity for development of healthcare and its human resource in the country and beyond, adding that the students should see beyond the challenges besetting the profession presently, and hope for a better tomorrow.
Pharm. Omobo who spoke on the topic, “YPG-PANS Collaboration: Prospects, Challenges and Way Forward” explained that the YPG was established in 2001 as an interest group within the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), to encourage young pharmacists to be actively involved in the international community of pharmacists, adding that its membership is open to all PANS members across the country.
Some ex-students and LIT trainers were not left out in the programme, as they were given opportunities to enlighten the students on some important topics.
Also lending his voice to the discussion, Pharm. Arinze Awiligwe, immediate past national president, PANS, who delivered a lecture titled “ICT and Quality and Accessibility of Health Care Services” asserted that the pharmaceutical industry enjoys the biggest benefits of ICT, adding that access to medical data and research data helps in assessing medicine requirements.