As Nigeria joined the rest of the world in celebrating 2016 World Pharmacists Day on 25 September, Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Elijah Mohammed has advised community pharmacists in the country to turn the current economic situation in the country to their advantage, stressing that this is the best time to prove their professional worth and demonstrate the qualitative care espoused in the theme of this year’s commemoration.
The registrar, who was represented by Pharm. Austin Ezeugwu, said this at an event organised by the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Lagos State Chapter, to mark this year’s World Pharmacists Day, held at Eti-Osa East LCDA, Ajah, Lagos recently.
Addressing pharmacists at the event, Mohammed said: “My professional colleagues, sometimes in life’s battles, we can feel as if we are losing on every front as indicated by business setbacks, financial woes or economic recession which can put a pessimistic spin on the way we look at life. However, we can be assured of appreciable progress as a profession or professionals given the ingenuity of the organisers of this celebration and novel activities lined up for this year’s celebration.”
According to him, the theme of this year’s event, “Pharmacists: Caring for You”, is a soul-searching, rather than self-serving message to the pharmacists as well as awareness creation message to the general public
He added that pharmacists must take advantage of the message in the theme to reach out to all and sundry.
Mohammed, a Fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm), noted that medication-related problems are significant public health issues within the healthcare system, adding that the place of medication therapy management (MTM), by pharmacists towards caring for the consumers of pharmaceutical products and services is essential.
He described MTM as a concept that improves collaboration among pharmacists, physicians and other healthcare professionals, saying it enhances communication between patients and the healthcare team and optimises medication use for improved patient outcomes.
“MTM services will enhance patients understanding of appropriate drug use, increase adherence to medication therapy, and improve detection of adverse drug events thereby demonstrating positive clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes.
“It is also an undisputable fact that community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies are windows by which the general public appraises the pharmacy profession and they have important roles to play in providing ‘MTM’ services which offer care for the consumers of pharmaceutical products and services,” Mohammed said.
Earlier in her welcome address, Chairman of ACPN-Lagos, Pharm. (Mrs) Abiola Paul-Ozieh, reiterated that the theme of the event was chosen to reflect the important role of pharmacists in improving care to the public and to highlight the emotional connection they have with their patients, emphasising that the role of pharmacists has evolved from that of providers of medicine to that of providers of care in the society.
According to her, emerging inter-professional collaborative models of primary healthcare delivery have changed the way pharmacists care for patients and work with other healthcare professionals in developed countries, adding that such practice models that will integrate pharmacists into primary care teams will become inevitable if Nigeria will fulfill it’s goal of universal health coverage.
Earlier in her keynote address, Dr (Mrs) Ogori Taylor emphasised that pharmacists are the only healthcare professionals uniquely trained in all matters relating to drugs and warned on the dangers in patronising quacks.
“First of all they don’t have the education in medicine and we know that medicine can be quite dangerous -they have benefits and they have side effects which can sometimes also cause other diseases and even death. Only the pharmacist is actually trained to be able to advise patients on the proper use of drugs,” she said.
The highpoint of the event was the free counselling and screening on HIV, blood sugar, blood pressure, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostrate cancer, dental check and tuberculosis offered to the people of Eti-Osa, Ajah community and its environs.
Dignitaries at the event included Dr Albert Kelong Alkali, national chairman, ACPN; Prince Babatunde Ayo Ayeni, sole administrator, Eti-Osa East LCDA; Sen. (Prince) Lanre Tejuosho, chairman, Senate Committee on Health, who was represented by Barr. Laolu Osayin; Pharm. Ebenezer Adeleke, chairman of the occasion; Pharm. (Alh) Ahmed Yakasai, president, PSN, who was represented by Pharm. Emeka Duru; Pharm. (Mrs) Yetunde Morohundiya, immediate past national chairperson, ALPs; Pharm. Gbenga Olubowale, chairman, PSN, Lagos State, who was represented by Pharm. Madehin Gafar; Chief. Sharafa Elegushi, Baale of Moba, and Pharm. Yinka Abdulsalam Aminu, former ACPN chairman, Lagos State among others.