The group revved up its advocacy during the Lagos PSN-YPG Week opening ceremony themed: Young Pharmacists as Champions of the SDGs 2030, held at sheraton hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, last Friday.
Speaking on why the event was organised, Pharm. Funmbi Okoya, the Lagos State coordinator of the Lagos YPG said pharmacy is a very versatile profession with skills and knowledge that are of relevance to numerous sectors, noting that young pharmacists active involvement in the achievement of the SDGs will contribute immensely to creating the ideal future.
He stated further that as health care professionals, pharmacists can drive the implementation of SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing) and SDG 6 (Clean water and sanitation), adding that pharmacists as owners of businesses and employers of labour in the manufacturing industry and retail pharmacy space also have important roles to play in SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).
“As educators, we can contribute to SDG 4 (quality education) and educate more people about the 17 SDGs and how they can contribute towards them,” Okoya said.
Speaking on the future of young pharmacists in Nigeria, he said as youths, young pharmacists can be the driving force for development in the society as change-makers, innovators, communicators, critical thinkers, and leaders.
He also encouraged the young pharmacist to be change agents, noting that they need to stop pointing fingers and instead seek to get involved either through their organisation/companies or through an NGO. They should also get involved in local politics, he said.
Pharm. Okoya equally urged pharmacists to seek to be a part of the future being built for them, adding that they should learn more about the 17 SDGs and how it can help transform Nigeria by 2030.
Also speaking at the colourful ceremony attended by many young pharmacists, Mr Seun Fakorede, commissioner for youths and sports, Oyo State, advised the young pharmacists to stop feeling young and start taking responsibilities, adding that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the pharmaceutical sector and that the young pharmacists are the ones that can implement this shift.
“It is high time young pharmacists take action and stop excuses which are good reasons for bad results,” he said.
He also urged pharmacists to make proper use of the internet, noting that everyone can have an idea about anything, adding that people should go online to learn how to sew clothes, to make bags, shoes, arts and crafts. They can also learn how to start business on youtube, he said.