It was a colourful celebration of selfless service, as the Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs) Lagos branch organised a special 2016 Forum, to appreciate past and present executives of the association,
The event, which was the first in the history of the association, was graced by Dr (Mrs) Ogori Taylor, FPSN, Prof. B.O Silva, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG; Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, former dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG; Pharm. Bisi Bright, CEO, LiveWell Initiative; Pharm. (Mrs) Moyosore Adejumo, DPS, Lagos State; Pharm. Margaret Obono, Pharm. Dere Awosika, representatives of women groups and others.
Addressing the audience, ALPs Lagos Chairperson, Pharm. Dupe Ologunagba, thanked every member of the association, who had contributed to its success in the outgoing year, while appreciating the Almighty God for His faithfulness and benevolence to all the members in the state.
She disclosed that the special forum was a way of appreciating all who had served the association, in one capacity or the other, since its inception three decades ago.
“Today, these selfless, honourable and distinguished ALPians shall be formally celebrated. Unfortunately, some of these heroes have fallen, but their services will remain green in our hearts as legacies and templates for the upcoming generation,” she said.
The event, which also served as end-of-year get-to-gather and thanksgiving forum for the association, was used to recognise all the supporters of the organisation, for their immense contributions.
Ologunagba further listed projects implemented by the group in 2016 to include hosting of the 12th Biennial National Conference of the association, tagged, “The Lady Pharmacist in Strategic National Development” in the first quarter of the year; School Health and Moral Programme at Reagean Baptist Secondary School in Yaba; participation in the Lagos Pharmacy Week, with a programme on Drug Abuse and Misuse, which focused on youths in Mushin, Lagos State; Cancer Awareness and Sensitisation programme among Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in the state; among others.
She also revealed that, for the year 2017, her vision is to ensure that the association attains greater heights and impacts more in its socio-professional outreach.
In her words: “ALPs desires to undertake the second phase of her Cancer Awareness Sensitisation and Screening Programme in collaboration with TBAS groups in the state, and it will be community based. ALPs will also execute her School Health and Moral Programme. These programmes will be undertaken in the first and second quarters of the year.”
She however noted the areas of improvement for the association to include strategic membership drive and collaboration with pharmaceutical organisations in school moral and health programmes.
The keynote speaker, Dr (Mrs.) Ogori Taylor, tasked lady pharmacists to begin a crusade on consumption of local foods, saying Nigeria ranked among countries with the largest number of malnourished children.
Taylor, who recently retired from the World Health Organisation (WHO), stated that evidences from empirical studies suggested link between malnutrition and mental retardation, a condition that continues to affect a considerable number of Nigerian children.
The former WHO employee further decried the rate of consumption of noodles, coloured foods and other sweeteners among Nigerian children, saying these classes of foods are worse than fast foods in terms of nutrient deficiency.
“From childhood, let us inculcate the culture of eating vegetables, fruits and other natural foods into our children, instead of them craving for junks and synthesised foods which add no value to their development,” Taylor said.
She also spoke on the prevalence of communicable diseases among adults, saying this can be prevented through daily exercise and eating of nine portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
Professors Odukoya and Silva in their goodwill messages to the association appreciated the members for their good works while urging them to do more and pursue excellence in their various aspects of pharmacy profession.
The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of awards to the past and present executives of the association; while Pharm. Bunmi Laja emerged as “ALPian of the year.”