THE COMMUNIQUE OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF PHARMACISTS & PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENTISTS IN THE AMERICAS, INC 2015 CONFERENCE
The Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) held its 2015 Annual Scientific Conference and Exposition in Detroit, Michigan on 17-20 September, 2015. The theme of the conference was Building Pharmaceutical Infrastructure for Healthcare Emergencies.
The conference drew participants from North America, Europe, and Nigeria and included academicians, deans of schools of pharmacy from the US and Nigeria, pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, and physicians. Government institutions and professional organisations represented included the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD), Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), United States Pharmacopeia (USP), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Universities Commission (NUC), National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), etc.
The Mayor of Detroit welcomed conferees to his city through the Deputy Mayor, Dr Isaiah (Ike) McKinnon. Immediate past NAPPSA President, Dr Funmi Ajayi, in her warm welcome address invited everyone to continue to fully support the programmes and vision of NAPPSA, while listing the key accomplishments of her administration, among which is the enhanced working relationships with key stakeholders in Nigeria such as FMoH, PCN, PSN, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), deans of pharmacy schools and the Pharmanews journal.
Two keynote presentations were given by Pharm. Lekan Asuni, General Manager, GlaxoSmithkline Pharmaceutical Nigeria, and Dr Benjamin Ohiaeri, MD, Founder and Chief Medical Director, First Consultants Medical Centre (FCMC), Lagos.
Speaking on “Pharmaceutical Infrastructure for Global Health Emergencies: What, Why and How?” Pharm. Asuni highlighted the role of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists in global health emergencies. He identified the four focus areas for building pharmaceutical infrastructure as health financing, service delivery, resource generation and governance.
Dr Ohiaeri gave a highly inspiring and stimulating keynote address, on “Countdown to Zero: Defeating the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria.” Corroborated by Dr Adaora Igonoh, a Medical Officer at FCMC and an EVD survivor herself, Dr Ohiaeri recounted how Mr Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian diplomat, brought the index case of EVD to FCMC and the successful global team collaborative efforts required to address and surmount the complex medical and diplomatic saga that ensued.
In a speech given on behalf of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, mni, by Pharm. (Mrs) Modupe Chukwumah, the current efforts of the federal government on health care related issues were enumerated along with a call on various “…stakeholders to join us in our efforts to prepare Nigeria for building Pharmaceutical Infrastructure in Nigeria to make it resilient for emergencies.”
The conference included a half-day workshop on strategies for implementing the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.) degree curriculum, how to improve pharmacy practice and effectively integrate the pharmaceutical sciences with health care delivery in Nigeria. Also featured were presentations and discussions that highlighted the need for local capacity for pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing, strengthening of regulatory systems to respond to health threats, effective collaboration with international funding agencies, ongoing efforts to develop drugs and vaccines against EVD, use of polio eradication as a model for building health emergency infrastructure and investment opportunities in manufacturing of HIV/AIDS antiretroviral drugs.
Other presentation and discussion topics included developments in global malaria eradication efforts, DEA Audits and compliance requirements for Pharmacists.
Other highlights of the meeting included the election of new NAPPSA officers: Dr Leo Egbujiobi (President Elect); Dr Nonyerem Onyewuenyi (Secretary) and Pharm. Olugbade Omotoso Bolanle (Treasurer) and the assumption of office by the new NAPPSA President, Dr Nkere Ebube.
Dr Ebube shared his strategic vision for NAPPSA which included focus on: Pharmacy practice and education – design of patient-cantered curriculum; overhaul of current drug laws and formulary to meet contemporary global standards; mentoring/leadership training for our young professionals; generic drug manufacturing/distribution & clinical development; centre of excellence for API development and NAPPSA membership enrichment programmes.
Dr. Ebube emphasised that we must continue to nurture and invest in our young professionals; equipping them with knowledge and the competitive edge to succeed. He also stated that we should not be afraid to take measured risks, challenge the norm and stretch our goals in order to bring meaningful reforms and strategically be prepared for the next healthcare emergency.
After a thorough review of the conference proceedings and deliberations, NAPPSA declares as follows:
- NAPPSA lauds the success of the Nigerian government and people in containing the Ebola Virus outbreak and views this achievement as a testament of the inherent potential of Nigeria as a vanguard of excellence in healthcare and pharmaceutical innovation.
- NAPPSA agrees with and reinforces the earlier assessments that community pharmacists are important in public health emergency response. Given the broad reach of community pharmacists, their high patient volume, the high level of trust people feel towards them and their propensity to be first responders to health issues in their community, we support a proactive inclusion of emergency response training in pharmacy curriculum as a way to enhance the national capacity for addressing Public Health Emergencies.
- NAPPSA’s Executive Board and entire membership pledge their support and are open to collaborative initiatives geared towards further strengthening of the Nigerian pharmaceutical and health care infrastructure to ensure sustained indigenous capacity for preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery in the event of public health emergencies.
Nkere Ebube, Ph.D.,
Funmi Ajayi., PhD Immediate Past President, NAPPSA
The Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, Inc. (NAPPSA) is a US-registered non-profit organization, which serves Nigerian pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, allied scientists and the academia in the Americas. NAPPSA’s objectives are to mobilise and develop its members through information sharing/dissemination and to work collaboratively to strengthen the health care sector in Nigeria and beyond. Visit our website (www.nappsa.org) for more information about NAPPSA.