President of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPharm.), Prince Julius -Adelusi-Adeluyi has charged pharmacists to constantly engage in research activities for the enhancement of national health care.
He said this is necessary for them to remain relevant and prominent in the health care delivery system.
Adelusi-Adeluyi made the remarks recently, while addressing the newly inducted fellows of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (WAPCP), at the 27th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Symposium, held at Welcome Centre Hotels, Airport Road, Lagos.
The NAPharm. president who was also chairman of the occasion, charged all pharmacists to improve the net worth of the profession, by embarking on teamwork, effectively networking themselves, as well as conducting relevant capacity trainings, capable of projecting them as change agents in the society.
He also urged the leadership of the college to follow the footsteps of renowned international institutions like the Harvard University, in order to produce well-grounded students.
In his contribution, president of the college, Wiltshire Johnson noted that the conference offered participants the opportunity to enrich their careers, demonstrate their academic and professional capacities, while also participating in events and discussions aimed at steering the future of pharmacy and health care delivery in West Africa.
He explained that the theme of this year’s AGM, “Diseases of Public Health Importance in West Africa”, required pharmacists to redefine quality of health care services delivery in West Africa.
Johnson, who led the participants to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of the Ebola virus, challenged pharmacists on their level of preparedness in the event of another disease outbreak on the continent.
“Problems of public health importance run far deeper than an epidemic outbreak of an haemorrhagic disease,” he said. “In our region, it includes, HIV/AIDS, TB, multidrug resistant TB, malaria, meningitis, reproductive maternal and child health issues, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and chronic respiratory conditions, to mention but a few.”
He also observed that, over the decades, there had been an upsurge in the amount of resources devoted to combating public health disease in Africa, noting however that such resource investments were already reaching a point of diminishing and marginal returns due to paucity of strong public health facilities in the region.
Johnson added that it was evident that the priority of quick fix and rapid disease-specific interventions had not produced the desired results.
He therefore charged all pharmacists to unite in building resilient health systems.
“Our presence at the micro and macro levels of health care delivery serves as an ideal conduit for preventive and curative interventions; and this provides the opportunity for setting alert and action limits in health and strategic direction for any nation’s health care service”, he stressed.
The high point of the event was the induction of 161 graduands, along with 10 elected fellows of the college. The fellows included Professor Olukemi Odukoya, former dean, faculty of pharmacy, University of Lagos; professor Emmanuel Osazuwa, former dean, faculty of pharmacy, University of Benin; and Professor Chinedum Peace Babalola, dean, faculty of pharmacy, University of Ibadan, among others.