Pharm. Nnodum Iheme is the president of Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA). In this interview with Pharmanews, during the 85th PSN national conference held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, last November, he spoke on the activities of the association, and the long term plan to make NAPPSA an institution that will contribute more to the development of pharmacy in Nigeria.
Below is the full text of the interview:
How much of the objectives you set for NAPPSA at its inception have been achieved?
NAPPSA was formed in 2006. It was inaugurated during our first conference in 2007. Our goal then was to bring Nigerian pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists together in the Diaspora and work very closely with the associations and the institutions in Nigeria.
Our plan was to work with associations like the PCN, PSN, NAFDAC and the universities together and be able to bring quality standard to our practice.
We wanted to pull our resources together and be able to tackle some of our problems, particularly in areas such as patient care, pharmacy education, pharmaceutical manufacturing, clinical trials and drug distribution.
Looking at these laudable objectives, how much of it have you achieved so far?
So far we have been able to build relationship and trust. NAPPSA sponsored about five people to come to this conference to talk about disease management and to talk about bioequivalence and what we really need to be doing. Those are some of the things that we have achieved.
We are now working with NAFDAC and PCN to form a working committee, so that we can share ideas on how to move forward.
Most importantly, we have missions and goals. We are at the stage where we are implementing most of our plans to achieve our goals.
What are the challenges you think are facing pharmacists in Nigeria that NAPPSA can help in surmounting?
I think the most important thing is that knowledge is power. With knowledge and information, I think the community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists in Nigeria can do better. We are even doing exchange programme with ACPN. Right now, there are memorandums of understanding between different universities, colleges of pharmacies in Nigeria and universities in US. That is part of what NAPPSA is doing. Knowledge is so critical. If we can bring knowledge into the practice of pharmacy in Nigeria, that will really help to move the profession forward.
What are the plans of NAPPSA for the next 5 to 10 years? Where do you hope to see the association in the next 5 to 10 years?
By that time, NAPPSA will be an institution. All of us will come down here to contribute. Most importantly, NAPPSA would have ensured that the second generation of Nigerians in the Americas, who have never thought of coming to Nigeria to do anything and are now having a change of mind, and are thinking of coming home to do something, contribute more to this country.