Mr. Daniel Emeka Nwabisi, is a 400 Level Pharmacy student from Nnamdi Azikwe University, (UNIZIK). He is the current Mr. Pharmacy, Nigeria- the first pharmacy student to emerge Mr. Pharmacy, Nigeria. In this exclusive interview with Pharmanews, the Nsugbe, Anambra East Local Government Area born young scholar disclosed his reasons for contesting for the position as well as his challenges being the first person to hold the title. He also shared his opinions on how to improve Pharmacy practice in the country.
Whose decision was it for you to study Pharmacy?
It may sound mind-blowing that I never intended to study Pharmacy in the University, but as God would have His way, I find myself studying pharmacy. After graduating from secondary school in 2014, at the age of 16.I wrote Jamb and applied to study Medicine in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, UNIZIK; but I didn’t meet the cut off mark for medicine, but I was offered Pharmacy instead which I almost rejected, but since the course was still health related, and I needed the admission at all cost, I accepted the offer with the intention of switching back to medicine during the course of my schooling in UNIIZIK. Although, it was the death of my elder sister even after undergoing surgery for a heart disease, back in JSS3, that actually prompted my decision to study medicine. I felt the surgeons that operated on her weren’t skilled enough, so I swore an oath to myself then, to study medicine and surgery in the university to save lives.
Aside lectures and practical, how do you manage your time in school?
I am the kind of person that multitasks a lot. As the wise saying goes,: “The busiest set of people in life have more time to spare”, and I also enjoy living a balanced life. So before the beginning of a new academic session, I plan and write down my goals and activities for that year. This involves my academic and other extracurricular activities ranging from social, entrepreneurial, political etc; and I always stick to executing my plans, that is why I do so many things in school, and still emerge successful in all by God’s grace. I am a 400 Level Pharmacy student with lots of academic and social achievements.
What is your view on the state of Pharmacy education in Nigeria, and how do you think it could be improved?
Pharmacy education in Nigeria, rooted in the British educational system, commenced in the early 1920s with the training of the Chemists and Druggists at the schools of pharmacy located at Yaba, Lagos in 1927 (Western Nigeria) and Zaria in 1930 (Northern Nigeria). Ever since then, there has been a spontaneous growth which metamorphosed into the 20 Pharmacy schools in Nigeria. Following the approval by National University commission (NUC) for the introduction of “Pharm D programme” in these 20 Pharmacy schools, there has been a paradigm shift of Pharmacist role from “Product oriented” to “Patient oriented”.
Special thanks to the President of PSN in the person Pharm. Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai; Registrar PCN Pharm. NAE Mohammed, and other stakeholders in the profession for this great achievement. My humble request to improve pharmacy education in Nigeria is that our leaders and stakeholders should see to the success of the full implementation of this Pharm. D programme in all Pharmacy schools in Nigeria.
In the nearest future, what area of the Pharmacy profession would you love to specialise in?
I will love to specialise both in the industrial and community aspect of pharmacy due to my passion for business and investment.
What motivated you to contest for Mr. Pharmacy Nigeria?
The fact that I really want to influence positively and touch the lives of people including my fellow Pharmacy students, through pharmaceutical care, and also leave a legacy as the first person to emerge Mr. Pharmacy Nigeria; prompted my contesting for the “Mr. Pharmacy Nigeria” pageantry contest in the last national PANS Convention. However, before then I had emerged Mr. Pharmacy UNIIZIK 2015, and Mr. Personality UNIZIK 2016. That same year, I contested and won Mr. Pharmacy Nigeria 2016/2017.
As the outgoing “Mr. Pharmacy Nigeria”, what are your achievements as well as challenges?
I was able to organise a pet project which aimed at enlightening the public about Pharmacy profession and some of our achievements include:
Health mission tour to various hospitals around Anambra State, courtesy visit to various Pharmaceutical firms in the state, personalities, PSN and PCN Anambra chapter etc, around South East. We also made courtesy visit and donated provisional items to the Orphanage home at blessed Nise community, Anambra State. We organised career talk on Pharmacy profession at UNIZIK Secondary School.
Also, an award of recognition for being the “Outstanding Pageant king” was presented to me by Anambra Fashion Show and Awards (AFSA) 2017.
My tenure, as being the first “Mr. Pharmacy Nigeria” was a bit difficult because I was faced with the responsibility of creating an entire new profile for the title and leave my legacy as well. All these were done on my own without any scheduled assistance. In all, I tried my best to manage my time in successfully organizing my pet project without it encroaching deeply with my ever busy Pharmacy education timetable, though many sacrifices were made along the line, but God saw us through.
How does the Student Union Government (SUG) impact on the welfare of Pharmacy students in your school?
Faculty of pharmaceutical sciences is in a different campus within the University, different from the main campus where the SUG is located, but we normally partake in activities organised by the SUG in the main campus.
There is a student body in our campus known as Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Student (PANS) that oversees the general welfare of Pharmacy students in the campus. They also cater for the well-being and security of the students at large.
What’s your take on the Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi national quiz/debate competition which other Pharmacy schools in Nigeria have benefited from, and how can you incorporate it in your school programme?
A wise saying goes thus: “You haven’t lived a life worth living, if you haven’t impacted in anyone’s life.” Pharm. Ifeanyi is greatly impacting on many undergraduates through his national quiz/debate competition. It’s really a nice and educative concept, and we, Pharmacy students are benefiting greatly from it. Special thanks to Pharm. Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, for this blessed opportunity. I will help advertise it among students in my school to also create awareness, especially to those who are unaware of it. I will also work with my fellow PANS leaders to incorporate it into my school programme as one of our competitions in our “PANS Week”, a week of loaded creative, educative and social activities highly craved and anticipated for among us pharmacy students.
Finally what message do you have for Pharmacy students?
Another adage says: “If a physician makes a mistake in his diagnosis, a patient is affected; but if a pharmacist makes a mistake in his drug production, the world is affected.” So I urge us all to put in our very best in the Pharmacy education to serve our world better, and like me, feel free and have the courage to combine your education with other fields of life you are passionate about, if you can handle both together. Put in mind that it will never be easy, God bless us all.