-Seek Govts intervention in ongoing ASUU Strike
Rising from her 3-day 18th National Scientific Conference, held at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia, NAPA, has called on governments to urgently address the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),
to save the universities the double tragedy of COVID-19 pandemic and industrial unrest.
The academicians bemoaned the spate of strikes in Nigerian’s tertiary institutions, which are greatly impacting negatively on the standard ⁹of education in the country, as they tasked the federal government on immediate steps to stem the tide.
Analysing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the pharmaceutical industry, they emphasised the need to discover safe and effective drugs for the treatment of the respiratory infection.
They said it is expedient for randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to be conducted on repurposed drugs in order to test that their relevance for the prophylaxis or management of the disease. The findings would eliminate the numerous controversies currently surrounding their use.
In an 18-point communiqué released after her recently concluded national conference, the researchers maintained that pharmacists have been trained to identify research gaps and are ready/available for actions with multidisciplinary teams.
“Research and Development (R & D) is one of the most important sectors of the pharmaceutical industry. The collaboration between the Nigeria Association of Pharmacists in Academia (NAPA) and the Nigeria Association of Industrial Pharmacists (NAIP) is laudable and should be sustained.
“Government funding of research laboratories is key. The government and proprietors of Pharmacy Schools should build and provide support for pilot plants in laboratories of the different schools of Pharmacy in Nigeria for the pilot manufacture of drugs” they submitted.
The NAPA members noted how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerability in Nigerian’s educational system preparedness for distance learning and ability to respond with short notice.
Hence the academicians recommended the use of
distance learning tools for universities, including recorded lectures and online platforms.
The government and financial institutions should fund information, communication and technology (ICT) infrastructure in Nigerian Universities for efficient teaching and learning.
They also pointed out the need for clinical trials conducted in Nigeria to be conceived and designed with greater input from end users and patients.
They said: “Clinical trials conducted in Nigeria should have unbiased methods with the report of accurate and complete results based on the study protocol and in line with national and international standards”.
The scientists also advocated better reward for solutions provided for national development saying: “There should be incentives for the processes that convert knowledge to solution. Researchers should be adequately rewarded as this would spur them to do more”.
The need for a research transitional desk that coordinates at regular intervals the academia, the industry, entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers, was part of the points discussed in the document.