PSN is creating opportunities from challenges – Akintayo


In its quest to transform pharmacy practice in Nigeria, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), has committed itself to turning the numerous challenges facing the profession to opportunities for advancement, PSN President, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, has said.

Akintayo, in a recent interview with Pharmanews, stated that his experiences since assumption of office as president in 2012, have made him realise that challenges could be converted to opportunities if there is a clear focus on the goals.

The PSN helmsman noted that he was actually not expecting a tea-party when he was sworn-in as president, having worked with successive presidents of the PSN since 1988 and was a member of NEC as far back as 1997.

He added that even though a lot had been done to transform pharmacy practice in the country, so much more still needed to be done to surmount present challenges and take the profession to the next level.

Akintayo further expressed satisfaction with the present leadership of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), adding that the leadership of the PCN was working with the PSN to bring advancements to the practice of pharmacy.

He disclosed that both bodies were working together to have reforms in the area of education of pharmacists, as well as improvement of inspectorate activities of the Council.

Noting that the last time there was a semblance of such synergy between the two bodies was in 1999, Akintayo stated that the relationshiphowever deteriorated progressively over a ten year period and,thus, might not be completely repaired overnight.

On the welfare of pharmacists and other health workers in Nigeria, he lamented that seven months after the PSN commenced a robust attempt to redress the anomalies in the Nigerian health care system, government was yet to sign the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with JOHESU in a bid to placate doctors when they embarked on acontroversial strike for 7 weeks, between July and August.

He assured that the PSN would not relent in its efforts to correct the aberrations in the health sector, adding that the government must realise that its recent strategies to impose a master-servant relationship in the health sector is beginning to generate ripple effects to the detriment of national development.

He warned that beyond strikes which pose severe economic and health consequences, a new generation of Nigerians who abhor being underdogs are shunning science-based programmes other than medicine.

He corroborated the claim with results of a recent survey in one of the first generation universities, which show that 53.8 per cent of applications for science courseswas for Medicine, while the other related courses, including Pharmacy, Engineering, Architecture, Estate Management, shared the remaining 46.2 per cent.