The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy has inducted six distinguished professionals into its esteemed ranks as fellows at an Investiture ceremony in Lagos.
Those inducted were the Director-General, Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Prof. Karniyus Gamaniel; former Deputy Provost, University of Lagos, Prof. Herbert Coker; one-time national pharmaceutical advisor, World Health Organisation, Dr. Ogori Taylor; first African woman to bag the fellowship of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in the US and Professor of Pharmaceutics, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye; Pharmacy Residency Director, Mercer University College at Atlanta Medical Center, Dr. Teresa Pounds; and communications management consultant and CEO XLR8, Calixthus Okoruwa.
Speaking at the Investiture of the new fellows, the President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, noted that the “individuals we are today inducting into our ranks are those with a strong passion for scientific research. These are tested professionals who appreciate the value of research in fast-tracking the social and economic progress of societies.”
He described pharmacy as the bedrock of effective healthcare delivery in the country and the most trusted healthcare provider as well as a driving force behind the discovery of new drugs.
According to Adelusi-Adeluyi: “Pharmacy is the key that unlocks all you need to know about medicine, Pharmacists are with you in sickness and health, counseling the patients and we serve with integrity. The Academy is exploring ways by which we can collectively convert the massive footprint of visitors to hospital pharmacies into real value for the profession and its practitioners.”
On his part, the President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Ahmed Yakasai, said the body was committed to making Nigeria the hub of pharmaceutical production and research in Africa.
Yakassai said: “Through a well-tailored plan which we have broken down to short, medium and long-term plan, we are looking to promote pharmaceutical manufacturing in Nigeria and examining the possibilities of producing about 70% of what the industry needs especially the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients while importing the remaining 30 per cent.”
Yakassai also announced the establishment of the PSN Foundation, which would be launched in Abuja on October 17 2017, while noting that the 90th celebration of the PSN, scheduled to hold in Umuahia, Abia State, would be a grand, epoch making occasion for all pharmacists.
Prof. Isa Marte Hussaini, a world-renowned cancer researcher and professor of pharmacology at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, in his keynote presentation at the investiture called for greater commitment on the part of the government to the funding of research in the country.
Hussaini said: “Inadequate funding is still a big challenge for Research and Development in Nigeria, as well as lack of constant power supply and non- availability of reagents which we have to buy from US and UK. We need more research grants in our country; it is not about the personnel but the tools to work with. All over the world, there are Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the field of medicine.”
Prof. Hussaini, whose cancer research is exploring the use of local herbs in cancer therapy, reminded the audience that “cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, the first being cardiovascular diseases with 8.2 million deaths reported worldwide as at 2012. Sadly, a lot of the research grants in Nigeria are focused on deaths arising from preventable diseases like Malaria, TB when we should really be funding ground breaking research on cancer. We have seen fruitful evidence of the use of local herbs in the management of cancer in Nigeria.”
The Academy, which has been in the forefront of educating, mentoring and motivating young pharmacists, recently organized in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and active engagement with other health professionals, a workshop on inter-professional collaboration in Nigeria’s healthcare sector.
The workshop helped to complement other efforts that seek better cooperation amongst Nigeria’s healthcare professionals, in the interest of the health of people in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is a specialized academy that among others, seeks to promote scientific research and professional development especially in the health, pharmaceutical and related sectors in order to help overcome challenges posed by pain and disease as well as fast-track social and economic development in Nigeria and beyond.
The event had in attendance the Registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Elijah Mohammed; Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye; General Secretary of the Academy, Prof. Fola Tayo; Vice President, Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi; Chairman, Merit Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Lolu Ojo; Nnamdi Obi, Chairman, Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former Managing Director, Neimeth Pharmaceuticals; Founder, Alpha Pharmacy, Sir Ike Onyechi; Prof. Kemi Odukoya, former Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos; Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, former Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Olabisi Onabanjo University; and Distinguished Professor, University of Lagos, Prof. Cecelia Igwillo, amongst others in attendance.