(By Temitope Obayendo)
To Pharm. Yakubu Maji-Isah, national chairman of the National Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists (NAHAP), reconciliation with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and passage of the National Health Bill into law are two paramount issues the PSN president should seek to resolve, as a matter of urgency. The NAHAP boss, who gave this charge during an exclusive interview with Pharmanews, also expects the 86th PSN conference to be the most educative and informative conference ever held. Below are the excerpts: Briefly tell us about yourself My name is Pharm Yakubu Maji-Isah; born some years back. I had my university education at a famous and one of the oldest universities in Eastern Europe, former Yugoslavia, now Serbia, from 1981 to 1986. I am a fellow of West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, and currently a deputy director of Pharmaceutical Services with the Niger State Hospitals Management Board. What grey areas in the pharmaceutical profession do you think the president of PSN needs to address? The National Health Bill, a better working relationship with PCN and constitution of a strong, committed and visionary lobby group that could also serve as a think tank for the society. What is your advice to PSN, as it holds its 86th national conference? I want the conference to be the most educative and informative conference ever had in the history of PSN conferences. Also, I want it to be more organised, in terms of registration of delegates. As the new chairman of NAHAP, what are your goals for the association? My goals are numerous but for the purpose of this interview, I will list but a few. One: Recognising the consultancy cadre of pharmacists who have graduated from the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists. Two: Actualising full implementation of Unit Dose Dispensing System. Three: Actualising grade level 17 as the terminal grade level for every member of the association, irrespective of whether they are working in federal or state health facilities. Four: Making our annual conferences truly scientific; and this has commenced with the last Annual Scientific Conference, which was held in Abuja from 26th to 30th of August, 2013. Five: Upgrading the knowledge of members by co-sponsoring them for workshops and seminars. Recently, three states were mandated to nominate a member each to attend a pharmacotherapy workshop in Benin. The states are Delta, Lagos and Niger. Six: Establishing a website where members can exchange ideas or innovations in their practice with ease. And, very importantly, setting up a peer review mechanism. Are there some likely challenges to the achievement of these goals? Of course! This is why the commitment of members, both morally and financially, is essential. What is the situation between pharmacists and doctors in the hospitals presently? Well, it varies from state to state, but generally fair. However in some states, the situation is good. How good are your members on documentation, because it is said that without documentation, pharmaceutical care has not taken place? Moderate; which means there is still need for improvement. Another PSN conference is here, how would you assess the contribution of conferences to the development of the profession? Fair; with room for improvement.